The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*MICHAEL, HARRY J.
Rank and Organization:: Second Lieutenant, U.S.
Army, Company L, 318th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Place and Date Near
Neiderzerf, Germany, 14 March 1945. Entered Service at: Milford, Ind. Birth:
Milford, Ind. G.O. No.: 18, 13 February 1946.
He was serving as a rifle platoon leader when his company began an assault on a wooded
ridge northeast of the village of Neiderzerf, Germany, early on 13 March 1945. A short
distance up the side of the hill, 2d Lt. Michael, at the head of his platoon, heard the
click of an enemy machinegun bolt. Quietly halting the company, he silently moved off into
the woods and discovered 2 enemy machineguns and crews. Executing a sudden charge, he
completely surprised the enemy and captured the guns and crews. At daybreak, enemy voices
were heard in the thick woods ahead. Leading his platoon in a flanking movement, they
charged the enemy with hand grenades and, after a bitter fight, captured 25 members of an
SS mountain division, 3 artillery pieces, and 20 horses. While his company was
establishing its position, 2d Lt. Michael made 2 personal reconnaissance missions of the
wood on his left flank. On his first mission he killed 2, wounded 4, and captured 6 enemy
soldiers single-handedly. On the second mission he captured 7 prisoners. During the
afternoon he led his platoon on a frontal assault of a line of enemy pillboxes,
successfully capturing the objective, killing 10 and capturing 30 prisoners. The following
morning the company was subjected to sniper fire and 2d Lt. Michael, in an attempt to find
the hidden sniper, was shot and killed. The inspiring leadership and heroic aggressiveness
displayed by 2d Lt. Michael upheld the highest traditions of the military service.