The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and Organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry
Division. Place and Date Near Haaren, Germany, 18 October 1944. Entered Service
at: Prescott, Ariz. Birth: Bethel, N.C. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945.
On 18 October 1944, Company K, 18th Infantry, occupying a position on a hill near Haaren,
Germany, was attacked by an enemy infantry battalion supported by tanks. The assault was
preceded by an artillery concentration, lasting an hour, which inflicted heavy casualties
on the company. While engaged in moving wounded men to cover, Sgt. Thompson observed that
the enemy had overrun the positions of the 3d Platoon. He immediately attempted to stem
the enemy's advance single-handedly. He manned an abandoned machinegun and fired on the
enemy until a direct hit from a hostile tank destroyed the gun. Shaken and dazed, Sgt.
Thompson picked up an automatic rifle and although alone against the enemy force which was
pouring into the gap in our lines, he ??fired burst after burst, halting the leading
elements of the attack and dispersing those following. Throwing aside his automatic rifle,
which had jammed, he took up a rocket gun, fired on a light tank, setting it on fire. By
evening the enemy had been driven from the greater part of the captured position but still
held 3 pillboxes. Sgt. Thompson's squad was assigned the task of dislodging the enemy from
these emplacements. Darkness having fallen and finding that fire of his squad was
ineffective from a distance, Sgt. Thompson crawled forward alone to within 20 yards of 1
of the pillboxes and fired grenades into it. The Germans holding the emplacement
concentrated their fire upon him. Though wounded, he held his position fearlessly,
continued his grenade fire, and finally forced the enemy to abandon the blockhouse. Sgt.
Thompson's courageous leadership inspired his men and materially contributed to the
clearing of the enemy from his last remaining hold on this important hill position.