Meet 1st Sergeant Leonard Funk.
the paratrooper's paratrooper.
Hotter than a two-dollar pistol.
C Company's top non-com has come as close as any individual to
convincing Jerry he should have stood in bed or something to
Deceptive in size and appearance.
Funk is just about as successful and colorful an operator as
they come in the ETO. He has led dozens of night patrols,
harassed and killed the enemy far behind the lines, set up aid
stations and even acted as company commander when all available
officers became casualties.
Small, five feet four inches in
height; compact, 140-pounds; his appearance is anything but that
of the swaggering trooper so often detailed in fact and fiction.
Among the men of his company he
is more frequently referred to as "Napoleon."
In Normandy he landed nearly 40
miles inland with other members of the stick but successfully
waged a 10-day campaign of terror and destruction before
breaking through to rejoin the Regiment. Funk's leadership was
such that not one member of the small unit was lost.
In Holland he and three other men
wiped out three 20 mm. AA guns and their crews just as the
gliders came in for a landing. More than 20 Jerries were killed
in this action.
In Belgium, while acting as
company executive officer, he organized company headquarters
personnel into a fighting team, cleared several houses of enemy,
foiled an attempted break by 80 prisoners and set up an aid
station to take care of the wounded.
These are just a few of the
typical Funk activities. He has not had too much time to go
front and center for hero's hardware. So far a Distinguished
Service Cross, the nation's second highest award, and a Purple
Heart with two clusters top off his collection.
But these two ribbons may have some important company. He has
been recommended for the Bronze and Silver Stars and considered
for the Congressional Medal of Honor.