TracesOfWar needs your help! We miss photos of important sights in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Submit your photos to input@tracesofwar.com and it will be published!

Laws, Robert Earl

Date of birth:
January 18th, 1921 (Altoona/Pennsylvania, United States)
Date of death:
January 1st, 1990
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Staff Sergeant
Unit:
Company G, 169th Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
September 10th, 1945
"He led the assault squad when Company G attacked enemy hill positions. The enemy force, estimated to be a reinforced infantry company, was well supplied with machineguns, ammunition, grenades, and blocks of TNT and could be attacked only across a narrow ridge 70 yards long. At the end of this ridge an enemy pillbox and rifle positions were set in rising ground. Covered by his squad, S/Sgt Laws traversed the hogback through vicious enemy fire until close to the pillbox, where he hurled grenades at the fortification. Enemy grenades wounded him, but he persisted in his assault until 1 of his missiles found its mark and knocked out the pillbox. With more grenades, passed to him by members of his squad who had joined him, he led the attack on the entrenched riflemen. In the advance up the hill, he suffered additional wounds in both arms and legs, about the body and in the head, as grenades and TNT charges exploded near him. Three Japanese rushed him with fixed bayonets, and he emptied the magazine of his machine pistol at them, killing 2. He closed in hand-to-hand combat with the third, seizing the Japanese rifle as he met the onslaught. The 2 fell to the ground and rolled some 50 or 60 feet down a bank. When the dust cleared the Japanese lay dead and the valiant American was climbing up the hill with a large gash across the head. He was given first aid and evacuated from the area while his squad completed the destruction of the enemy position. S/Sgt. Laws' heroic actions provided great inspiration to his comrades, and his courageous determination, in the face of formidable odds and while suffering from multiple wounds, enabled them to secure an important objective with minimum casualties."
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Staff Sergeant
Honorable Service Lapel Button / Honorable Discharge Emblem

Sources

  • Photo: Home of Heroes
  • Jordan, Kenneth N., Yesterday’s Heroes, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., USA, 1996.

Photo