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Gino Joseph Merli



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.

Mother of Sorrows Cemetery

merli_gino2.jpg (55888 bytes)

Born:  May 13, 1924 at Scranton, PA

Entered Service in the US Army from Peckville, PA

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War II For heroism September 04, 1944 at Sars la Bruyere, Belgium

Died:  June 11, 2002 at the age of 78

Private First Class Merli was serving as a machine gunner in the vicinity of Sars la Bruyere, Belgium, 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 eight members of the section were forced to surrender. Private First Class 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 No sooner had the enemy group withdrawn then he was up and firing in all directions.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 two apparently lifeless bodies. Throughout the night Private First Class 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 Private First Class Merli still at his gun. On the battlefield lay 52 enemy dead, 19 of whom were directly in front of the gun.



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Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner