Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel,
U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Carentan,
France, 11 June 1944. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex.
Birth: Fort Sam Houston, Tex. G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944.
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life,
above and beyond the call of duty on 11 June 1944, in France.
Lt. Col. Cole was personally leading his battalion in forcing
the last 4 bridges on the road to Carentan when his entire
unit was suddenly pinned to the ground by intense and withering
enemy rifle, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire placed
upon them from well-prepared and heavily fortified positions
within 150 yards of the foremost elements. After the devastating
and unceasing enemy fire had for over 1 hour prevented any
move and inflicted numerous casualties, Lt. Col. Cole, observing
this almost hopeless situation, courageously issued orders
to assault the enemy positions with fixed bayonets. With utter
disregard for his own safety and completely ignoring the enemy
fire, he rose to his feet in front of his battalion and with
drawn pistol shouted to his men to follow him in the assault.
Catching up a fallen man's rifle and bayonet, he charged on
and led the remnants of his battalion across the bullet-swept
open ground and into the enemy position. His heroic and valiant
action in so inspiring his men resulted in the complete establishment
of our bridgehead across the Douve River. The cool fearlessness,
personal bravery, and outstanding leadership displayed by
Lt. Col. Cole reflect great credit upon himself and are worthy
of the highest praise in the military service.
Rank and organization: Private First
Class, U.S. Army, Co. C, 325th Glider Infantry, 82d Airborne
Division. Place and date: Merderet River at la Fiere, France,
9 June 1944. Entered service at: Grand Island, N.Y. Birth:
Grand Island, N.Y. G.O. No.: 22, 28 February 1946.
He was a member of Company C, 325th Glider Infantry, on 9
June 1944 advancing with the forward platoon to secure a bridgehead
across the Merderet River at La Fiere, France. At dawn the
platoon had penetrated an outer line of machineguns and riflemen,
but in so doing had become cut off from the rest of the company.
Vastly superior forces began a decimation of the stricken
unit and put in motion a flanking maneuver which would have
completely exposed the American platoon in a shallow roadside
ditch where it had taken cover. Detecting this danger, Pfc.
DeGlopper volunteered to support his comrades by fire from
his automatic rifle while they attempted a withdrawal through
a break in a hedgerow 40 yards to the rear. Scorning a concentration
of enemy automatic weapons and rifle fire, he walked from
the ditch onto the road in full view of the Germans, and sprayed
the hostile positions with assault fire. He was wounded, but
he continued firing. Struck again, he started to fall; and
yet his grim determination and valiant fighting spirit could
not be broken. Kneeling in the roadway, weakened by his grievous
wounds, he leveled his heavy weapon against the enemy and
fired burst after burst until killed outright. He was successful
in drawing the enemy action away from his fellow soldiers,
who continued the fight from a more advantageous position
and established the first bridgehead over the Merderet. In
the area where he made his intrepid stand his comrades later
found the ground strewn with dead Germans and many machineguns
and automatic weapons which he had knocked out of action.
Pfc. DeGlopper's gallant sacrifice and unflinching heroism
while facing unsurmountable odds were in great measure responsible
for a highly important tactical victory in the Normandy Campaign.