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Robert E. Gerstung



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

BORN:  August 06, 1915 at Chicago, IL

Entered Service in the US Army from Chicago, IL

Earned the Medal of Honor during World War II For heroism on December 19, 1944 at Siegfried Line, Germany

DIED:  June 17, 1979 at the age of 63

For eight hours Technical Sergeant Gerstung maintained a position near the Siegfried Line made almost untenable by artillery and mortar fire concentrated upon it and the proximity of enemy troops who threw hand grenades into the emplacement. While all other members of his squad became casualties, he remained at his gun. When he ran out of ammunition, he dashed across open terrain to secure a new supply from a disabled tank. A fierce barrage pierced the water jacket of his gun, but he continued to fire until the weapon overheated and jammed. He crawled 50 yards across coverless ground to another of his company's machineguns which had been silenced when its crew was killed and continued to man this gun. When he came under fire from a hostile tank, which shot the glove from his hand he was not driven from his position. When the American forces were ordered to retire he remained at his gun, giving the only covering fire. Finally withdrawing, he cradled the weapon in his left arm, slung a belt of ammunition over his shoulder, and walked to the rear. One hundred yards from safety, he was struck in the leg by a mortar shell; but crawled the remaining distance, dragging along the gun which had served him and his comrades so well.



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