MINICK, JOHN W.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 121st Infantry, 8th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Hürtgen, Germany, 21 November 1944.
Entered service at: Carlisle, Pa.
Birth: Wall, Pa.
Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and
beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with the enemy on 21 November 1944, near
Hürtgen, Germany. S/Sgt. Minick's battalion was halted in its advance by extensive minefields, exposing
troops to heavy concentrations of enemy artillery and mortar fire. Further delay in the advance would
result in numerous casualties and a movement through the minefield was essential. Voluntarily, S/Sgt.
Minick led four men through hazardous barbed wire and debris, finally making his way through the
minefield for a distance of 300 yards. When an enemy machinegun opened fire, he signaled his men to
take covered positions, edged his way alone toward the flank of the weapon and opened fire, killing
two members of the gun crew and capturing three others. Moving forward again, he encountered and
engaged single-handedly an entire company killing twenty Germans and capturing twenty, and enabling
his platoon to capture the remainder of the hostile group. Again moving ahead and spearheading his
battalion's advance, he again encountered machinegun fire. Crawling forward toward the weapon, he
reached a point from which he knocked the weapon out of action. Still another minefield had to be
crossed. Undeterred, S/Sgt. Minick advanced forward alone through constant enemy fire and while thus
moving, detonated a mine and was instantly killed.
||U.S. Army Center of Military History: Full Text Listings of Medal of Honor Citations, website,
www.army.mil/cmh-pg/moh1.html Accessed, 9 September 2001.
Conversation with author, circa 1991.|