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702nd Tank Battalion “Red Devils”

Rolling On


From The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 31, 1945

Corporal George Gearhart Receives Star

And Soldier’s Medal For Heroism


Containing the hand-inked title, “My Christmas Present To Adolf” a Presidential citation awarding him the Bronze Star as well as the Soldiers Medal were included in the latest letter of Corporal George F. Gearhart, of Danville, written to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob I. Gearhart, of this city.


The family received the official Army notice from their son yesterday and since the Bronze Star was awarded for his heroism on December 24th, George “slug-lined” it in ink as his present to the Feuhrer.


The two citations follow:


“George F. Gearhart, 33602270, Cpl., Armored, Army of the United States, for heroic achievement in Luxembourg on 24 December 1944, in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States.  On 24 December, 1944, Cpl. Gearhart, while serving as a tank gunner with an infantry combat team observed an enemy column of eleven vehicles approaching our positions.  Although faced with overwhelming odds, Cpl. Gearhart immediately opened fire, destroying or damaging six enemy vehicles and completely routing the rest of the column.  The cool courage, determination and sincere devotion to duty displayed by Cpl. Gearhart exemplify the finest tradition of the armed forces of the United States.”


"By direction of the President, under the provisions of Army Regulations 600-45, dated September 22nd, 1943, as amended, the Soldiers Medal is awarded to the following.”


The Bronze Star award was in connection with a tank battle in which a war syndicate news photographer snapped a picture of Cpl. Gearhart standing beside a wrecked tank after the battle, with the body of a dead German nearby.


This picture received nation-wide publicity as it was released to all news picture channels by the Army Signal Corps via the Central Press. (International Pictures)

Thus, another fine chapter is added to the story of this young Danville boy who started out as a rookie on April 10th, 1943, and now is among the nation's most appreciated soldiers on foreign battlefields.



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