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4/25/2017 7:42:44 PM
Posted: 6/17/2002 5:20:35 PM EDT
The following is an excerpt from an obituary in the NYTimes, 6-17-02 -- Gino Merli, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II for operating a machine gun that blocked a German advance at a United States Army outpost in Belgium, died last Tuesday at his home in Peckville, Pa. He was 78. [ snip ] ........ On Sept. 4, 1944, Private Merli was a machine-gunner with the First Infantry Division's 18th Infantry when 14 men from his company set up a roadblock near the village of Sars la Bruyere, a few miles from the French border. At least 100 German soldiers came down a cobblestone road, and their fire knocked out one of the Americans' two machine-gun positions. Private Merli and his assistant gunner killed several members of the German patrol from the surviving machine-gun position, but then Private Merli's assistant was killed by return fire. The remaining members of his unit retreated or were killed, wounded or captured. Refusing to abandon his position, Private Merli was alone in his foxhole at midnight, and he held off several more German attacks, expending about 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Once, when continuing to fire would have given Private Merli's position away, a group of Germans approached his foxhole and saw what appeared to be two dead soldiers inside. The body of Private Merli's assistant gunner was on top, and he was lying below, pretending to be dead. The Germans prodded Private Merli in the buttocks with their bayonets, inflicting four wounds, but he did not cry out. Satisfied that he was dead, the German soldiers departed. Then Private Merli began firing again. At daybreak, the remnants of the German patrol surrendered after American troops opened a counter-assault. Private Merli then jumped from his gun pit, having survived with a finger wound and the four bayonet wounds. [ snip ]........... On June 15, 1945, Private Merli received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman. The citation noted "the losses and confusion" that Private Merli had inflicted on the enemy and told of the aftermath of his long night at his machine gun at Sars la Bruyere: "On the battlefield lay 52 enemy dead, 19 of whom were directly in front of the gun." ------------------------ These brave soldiers are slowly leaving us, and we must not forget their sacrifice. Mike
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 5:30:18 PM EDT
It is long past due that these men get a memorial to honor their bravery and sacrifice. Theirs truly was the greatest generation.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 5:31:55 PM EDT
Forget we will not...............
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 5:58:07 PM EDT
Thanks for posting that article. The valor, bravery, and sacrifice of those men won't be forgotten. At least not by me.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 6:15:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Arc_Angel: It is long past due that these men get a memorial to honor their bravery and sacrifice. Theirs truly was the greatest generation.
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I agree 100%. RIP Pvt. Gino Merli...an American Hero and Patriot.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 6:38:48 PM EDT
SALUTE!
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 7:32:29 PM EDT
"A great credit to himself, his unit, and the United States Army" Bayonetted in the buttocks 4 times and not cry out? What were those men made of? When I think I am so tuff, I look at my Father. Those men could give lessons on manhood...They will always seem larger than life in my eyes and I am often amazed at their feats... [marines]
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 7:42:00 PM EDT
Another one of the good passes on... Rest in peace Gino. [USA]
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 7:43:17 PM EDT
Saw this guy on the history channel not long ago. One common denominator with these crusty old WW2 guys- self effacing. "Hell, I was just doin' my job". Methinks it would take a helluva lotta guts to punch that time card.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 7:56:18 PM EDT
[b]MERLI, GINO J.[/b] Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sars la Bruyere, Belgium, 4 - 5 September 1944. Entered service at: Peckville, Pa. Birth: Scranton, Pa. G.O. No.: 64, 4 August 1945. Citation: He was serving as a machine gunner in the vicinity of Sars la Bruyere, Belgium, on the night of 4 - 5 September 1944, when his company was attacked by a superior German force Its position was overrun and he was surrounded when our troops were driven back by overwhelming numbers and firepower. Disregarding the fury of the enemy fire concentrated on him he maintained his position, covering the withdrawal of our riflemen and breaking the force of the enemy pressure. His assistant machine gunner was killed and the position captured; the other 8 members of the section were forced to surrender. Pfc. Merli slumped down beside the dead assistant gunner and feigned death. No sooner had the enemy group withdrawn then he was up and firing in all directions. Once more his position was taken and the captors found 2 apparently lifeless bodies. Throughout the night Pfc. Merli stayed at his weapon. By daybreak the enemy had suffered heavy losses, and as our troops launched an assault, asked for a truce. Our negotiating party, who accepted the German surrender, found Pfc. Merli still at his gun. On the battlefield lay 52 enemy dead, 19 of whom were directly in front of the gun. Pfc. Merli's gallantry and courage, and the losses and confusion that he caused the enemy, contributed materially to our victory.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 8:18:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By M4:
Originally Posted By Arc_Angel: It is long past due that these men get a memorial to honor their bravery and sacrifice. Theirs truly was the greatest generation.
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I agree 100%. RIP Pvt. Gino Merli...an American Hero and Patriot.
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I agree as well. I saw him on the history channel, too. All of them are heroes to me, and it really saddens me to hear when one of these great people passes away. Be at peace Mr Merli, and know that you and those like you are an inspiration to us all.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 9:56:17 PM EDT
BTT
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 10:32:56 PM EDT
This former Marine raises a beer in his honor. Another toast hoping Klinton & his ilk rot in hell.
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