The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*SADOWSKI, JOSEPH J.
Rank and Organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 37th
Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division. Place and Date: Valhey, France, 14 September
1944. Entered Service at: Perth Amboy, N.J. Birth: Perth Amboy, N.J. G.O.
No.: 32, 23 April 1945.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty at Valhey, France. On the afternoon of 14 September 1944, Sgt. Sadowski as a
tank commander was advancing with the leading elements of Combat Command A, 4th Armored
Division, through an intensely severe barrage of enemy fire from the streets and buildings
of the town of Valhey. As Sgt. Sadowski's tank advanced through the hail of fire, it was
struck by a shell from an 88-mm. gun fired at a range of 20 yards. The tank was disabled
and burst into flames. The suddenness of the enemy attack caused confusion and hesitation
among the crews of the remaining tanks of our forces. Sgt. Sadowski immediately ordered
his crew to dismount and take cover in the adjoining buildings. After his crew had
dismounted, Sgt. Sadowski discovered that 1 member of the crew, the bow gunner, had been
unable to leave the tank. Although the tank was being subjected to a withering hail of
enemy small-arms, bazooka, grenade, and mortar fire from the streets and from the windows
of adjacent buildings, Sgt. Sadowski unhesitatingly returned to his tank and endeavored to
pry up the bow gunner's hatch. While engaged in this attempt to rescue his comrade from
the burning tank, he was cut down by a stream of machinegun fire which resulted in his
death. The gallant and noble sacrifice of his life in the aid of his comrade, undertaken
in the face of almost certain death, so inspired the remainder of the tank crews that they
pressed forward with great ferocity and completely destroyed the enemy forces in this town
without further loss to themselves. The heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by
Sgt. Sadowski, which resulted in his death, inspired the remainder of his force to press
forward to victory, and reflect the highest tradition of the armed forces.