DROWLEY, JESSE R.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant,
U.S. Army, Americal Infantry Division. Place and date: Bougainville, Solomon
Islands, 30 January 1944. Entered service at: Spokane, Wash. Birth: St.
Charles, Mich. G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944.
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in
action with the enemy at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 30 January 1944. S/Sgt. Drowley, a
squad leader in a platoon whose mission during an attack was to remain under cover while
holding the perimeter defense and acting as a reserve for assaulting echelon, saw 3
members of the assault company fall badly wounded. When intense hostile fire prevented aid
from reaching the casualties, he fearlessly rushed forward to carry the wounded to cover.
After rescuing 2 men, S/Sgt. Drowley discovered an enemy pillbox undetected by assaulting
tanks that was inflicting heavy casualties upon the attacking force and was a chief
obstacle to the success of the advance. Delegating the rescue of the third man to an
assistant, he ran across open terrain to 1 of the tanks. Signaling to the crew, he climbed
to the turret, exchanged his weapon for a submachine gun and voluntarily rode the deck of
the tank directing it toward the pillbox by tracer fire. The tank, under constant heavy
enemy fire, continued to within 20 feet of the pillbox where S/Sgt. Drowley received a
severe bullet wound in the chest. Refusing to return for medical treatment, he remained on
the tank and continued to direct its progress until the enemy box was definitely located
by the crew. At this point he again was wounded by small arms fire, losing his left eye
and falling to the ground. He remained alongside the tank until the pillbox had been
completely demolished and another directly behind the first destroyed. S/Sgt. Drowley, his
voluntary mission successfully accomplished, returned alone for medical treatment.