John R. Crews Is Dead at 76; World War II Medal of Honor Recipient

 

 

Born: 8 March 1923, Golden, Oklahoma

Died: 25 September 1999 Oklahoma City , Oklaho\ma

Education: Bowlegs High School, Bowlegs, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Service Record: Drafted December 1942 and sent to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

Transferred to Ft. Custer, MI in February 1943.

Sent as an MP to Casablanca in April 1943 to pick up German prisoners of war and return them to the U.S.

Transferred to the 63rd Infantry Division at Camp Van Doran, MI in May 1944 and entered combat in Europe in December 1944.

By April 1945 he had been promoted to Staff Sergeant. He received the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantryman's Badge

 


MEDAL OF HONOR

 

CREWS, JOHN R.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 253d Infantry, 63d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Lobenbacherhof, Germany, 8 April 1945.

Entered service at: Bowlegs, Okla.

Birth: Golden, Okla.

Citation:

 

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 April 1945 near Lobenbacherhof, Germany. As his company was advancing toward the village under heavy fire, an enemy machinegun and automatic rifle with rifle support opened upon it from a hill on the right flank. Seeing that his platoon leader had been wounded by their fire, S/Sgt. Crews, acting on his own initiative, rushed the strongpoint with 2 men of his platoon. Despite the fact that 1 of these men was killed and the other was badly wounded, he continued his advance up the hill in the face of terrific enemy fire. Storming the well-dug-in position single-handedly, he killed 2 of the crew of the machinegun at pointblank range with his M 1 rifle and wrested the gun from the hands of the German whom he had already wounded. He then with his rifle charged the strongly emplaced automatic rifle. Although badly wounded in the thigh by crossfire from the remaining enemy, he kept on and silenced the entire position with his accurate and deadly rifle fire. His actions so unnerved the remaining enemy soldiers that 7 of them surrendered and the others fled. His heroism caused the enemy to concentrate on him and permitted the company to move forward into the village.

 

The Medal of Honor was presented to John R. Crews in June 1948 by President Harry Truman.


 

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© 1999 by Neil Mishalov