The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
CLARK, FRANCIS J.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant,
U.S. Army, Company K, 109th Infantry, 28th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near
Kalborn, Luxembourg, 12 September 1944; near Sevenig, Germany, 17 September 1944.
Entered service at: Salem, N.Y. Birth: Whitehall, N.Y. G.O. No.:
77, 10 September 1945.
Citation: He fought gallantly in Luxembourg and Germany. On
12 September 1944, Company K began fording the Our River near Kalborn, Luxembourg, to take
high ground on the opposite bank. Covered by early morning fog, the 3d Platoon, in which
T/Sgt. Clark was squad leader, successfully negotiated the crossing; but when the 2d
Platoon reached the shore, withering automatic and small-arms fire ripped into it,
eliminating the platoon leader and platoon sergeant and pinning down the troops in the
open. From his comparatively safe position, T/Sgt. Clark crawled alone across a field
through a hail of bullets to the stricken troops. He led the platoon to safety and then
unhesitatingly returned into the fire-swept area to rescue a wounded soldier, carrying him
to the American line while hostile gunners tried to cut him down. Later, he led his squad
and men of the 2d Platoon in dangerous sorties against strong enemy positions to weaken
them by lightning-like jabs. He assaulted an enemy machinegun with hand grenades, killing
2 Germans. He roamed the front and flanks, dashing toward hostile weapons, killing and
wounding an undetermined number of the enemy, scattering German patrols and, eventually,
forcing the withdrawal of a full company of Germans heavily armed with automatic weapons.
On 17 September, near Sevenig, Germany, he advanced alone against an enemy machinegun,
killed the gunner and forced the assistant to flee. The Germans counterattacked, and heavy
casualties were suffered by Company K. Seeing that 2 platoons lacked leadership, T/Sgt.
Clark took over their command and moved among the men to give encouragement. Although
wounded on the morning of 18 September, he refused to be evacuated and took up a position
in a pillbox when night came. Emerging at daybreak, he killed a German soldier setting up
a machinegun not more than 5 yards away. When he located another enemy gun, he moved up
unobserved and killed 2 Germans with rifle fire. Later that day he voluntarily braved
small-arms fire to take food and water to members of an isolated platoon. T/Sgt. Clark's
actions in assuming command when leadership was desperately needed, in launching attacks
and beating off counterattacks, in aiding his stranded comrades, and in fearlessly facing
powerful enemy fire, were strikingly heroic examples and put fighting heart into the
hard-pressed men of Company K.