Fredrick North was my dadís assistant gunner from Oct 1994 to 02 Jan 45
Frederick J. North
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Service # 32947955
141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division
Entered the Service from: New York
Buried at: Plot A Row 46 Grave 25
Epinal American Cemetery
Awards: Purple Heart
Frederick North was my dad's (PFC Marshall E. Thomas) assistant gunner from 26 Oct 1944 to 02 Jan 1945. The morning of 02 Jan 1945, their position was being overrun by German infantry and at least 10 German tanks. Dad and Frederick volunteered to provide covering fire so I Company could pull back and regroup. They stayed with dad's machine gun until they saw the front of the 1st German tank coming over the hill. Dad pulled the bolt from his machine gun and threw it as hard as he could so the Germans could not use the gun on them. They both took off running back toward friendly lines. Dad said the last time he saw Frederick, he was running with his .45 pistol at port arms toward the woods. He never saw him again.
Attached is a copy of my father's Bronze Star Citation for the action they saw this day:
HEADQUARTERS 36TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO #36, U.S. ARMY
AG 200.6 28 March 1945
SUBJECT: Award of Bronze Star Metal
TO : Private First Class MARSHALL E. THOMAS, 34848661,
Company I, 141st Infantry Regiment,
APO #36, U.S. ARMY
Under the provisions of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, you are awarded a Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement in combat.
MARSHALL E. THOMAS, 34848661, Private First Class, Company I, 141st Infantry Regiment, for heroic achievement in combat on 2 January 1945 in France. When a large enemy force threatened to overrun the companyís position, a withdrawal was ordered. Private First Class Thomas, a machine gunner, volunteered to man his gun as a rearguard during the withdrawal. He moved his gun to a more exposed position and delivered a heavy volume of fire, temporarily halting the hostile advance. Although his actions drew heavy return fire from the enemy, he continued to fire until his company had set up a strong defense. By his courage and determination Private First Class Thomas enabled the men of his company to make a withdrawal to positions from which they later successfully counterattacked. Entered the Service from Loris, South Carolina.
SIGNED JOHN E. DAHLQUIST Major General,
U.S. Army Commanding
HEADQUARTERS 36TH DIVISION
OFFICIAL SEAL ADJ. GENLS. OFFICE