Walter Ehlers, the last surviving D-Day Medal of Honor winner, has passed away. Ehlers was 92 years old.
Staff Sergeant Walter Ehlers, 92, of Buena Park, CA., earned the nation’s highest honor and multiple other medals for his heroic actions during the taking of the small sliver of French beach from German soldiers. He also received three purple hearts and a silver star.
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 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. Ehlers refused to leave his unit after being treated for his bullet wound upon returning and continued to lead his squad deeper into France.
Wow. Godspeed, Staff Sergeant Ehlers. Thank you for your service.