Reported by FASF Historian Jim Davis – Dateline Virginia February 23, 2014.
The last Medal of Honor recipient to have stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day dies at 92
- Staff Sergeant Walter Ehlers was part of the raid on Nazi troops at Omaha Beach battle immortalized in the opening of ‘Saving Private Ryan’
- He said the actual battle ‘was worse’ than the movie depicted
- Ehlers killed at least seven Nazi soldiers on his own and saved at least one fellow soldier despite being wounded himself
An American hero: (Photo at Right) Walter Ehlers, a Medal of Honor recipient who took part in the D-Day invasion of World War II, has died at age 92
Ehlers was awarded the Medal of Honor ‘for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty’ on June 9 and 10, 1944, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
He ‘repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.’
Ehlers heroically defended his unit from ‘withering machine gun fire’ and mortars, personally killing at least seven Nazi soldiers, taking out multiple enemy positions and even carrying a wounded soldier back across enemy lines to safety despite being shot in the back himself.
He then went back through the hail of bullets to retrieve a US Army-issued automatic rifle which he had to previously leave behind to carry the rifleman to safety.