The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
SLATON, JAMES D.
Rank and Organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 157th
Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and Date Near Oliveto, Italy, 23 September
1943. Entered Service at: Gulfport, Miss. Born: 2 April 1912, Laurel, Miss
G.O. No.: 44, 30 May 1944.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of
duty in action with the enemy in the vicinity of Oliveto, Italy, on 23 September 1943.
Cpl. Slaton was lead scout of an infantry squad which had been committed to a flank to
knock out enemy resistance which had succeeded in pinning 2 attacking platoons to the
ground. Working ahead of his squad, Cpl. Slaton crept upon an enemy machinegun nest and,
assaulting it with his bayonet, succeeded in killing the gunner. When his bayonet stuck,
he detached it from the rifle and killed another gunner with rifle fire. At that time he
was fired upon by a machinegun to his immediate left. Cpl. Slaton then moved over open
ground under constant fire to within throwing distance, and on his second try scored a
direct hit on the second enemy machinegun nest, killing 2 enemy gunners. At that time a
third machinegun fired on him 100 yards to his front, and Cpl. Slaton killed both of these
enemy gunners with rifle fire. As a result of Cpl. Slaton's heroic action in immobilizing
3 enemy machinegun nests with bayonet, grenade, and rifle fire, the 2 rifle platoons which
were receiving heavy casualties from enemy fire were enabled to withdraw to covered
positions and again take the initiative. Cpl. Slaton withdrew under mortar fire on order
of his platoon leader at dusk that evening. The heroic actions of Cpl. Slaton were far
above and beyond the call of duty and are worthy of emulation.