Ernest W. Prussman
Private First Class, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division, U.S. Army. Awarded for actions near Les Coates [or Loscoat], Brittany, France.
September 08, 1944
Born in Baltimore, MD, in 1921, Prussman enlisted in the Army in Brighton, MA. He was killed in action after advancing ahead of his unit, singlehandedly capturing several enemy combatants and destroying a machine gun nest.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on September 8, 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of the flank companies of 2 battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon 2 enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machinegun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and 2 riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a handgrenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the 2 battalions to continue their advance.