5:43 PM 03/29/2018
President Trump announced on Thursday he will be posthumously-awarding the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant Garlin M. Conner, a World War Two infantryman and officer who single-handedly held off 600 German soldiers. Conner fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War and served in the African, Italian and Western European campaigns.
Conners Medal of Honor stems from his actions on January 24, 1945.
According to a White House press release, during an intense firefight, Lieutenant Conner volunteered to run into the middle of the battle and direct artillery fire onto the advancing German forces. According to some reports, Conner faced more than 600 German soldiers and six tanks. As the approaching Germans came too close to Conner to allow for artillery strikes, Conner radioed his superiors and told them to fire directly onto his position. Conner survived the barrage and stayed in his exposed position, in freezing temperatures, for three hours which allowed Allied forces to repel the assault.
The president will present the Medal to Conners widow, Pauline Lyda Wells Conner at a ceremony at the White House. The date of the ceremony has not yet been released.
Conner was highly decorated for his gallantry in combat long before President Trump decided to upgrade his Distinguished Service Cross. In addition to that award, Conner was awarded four Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, and the French Croix de guerre all while he was serving in the Army.
He left the military in 1945 and started a quiet life as a farmer in Kentucky, where he lived until his death in 1998.
Mrs. Conner has been working for the past seventeen years to get her husbands award upgraded. She was joined by some of Lieutenant Conners former comrades, who provided testimony of his gallantry.
This will be the third Medal of Honor awarded by President Trump since taking office.