HEADQUARTERS 82D AIRBORNE DIVISION
OFFICE OF THE DIVISION COMMANDER
APO 468, U.S. ARMY
SUBJECT: Award of the Silver Star Medal.
TO : Kenneth J. Merritt, 18161538, CPL, 508th Parachute
Infantry, APO 469, U.S. Army
Under the provisions of AR 600-45, as amended, and pursuant to authority
contained in Circular No. 32, Headquarters ETOUSA, dated 20 March 1944, and
Circular No. 66, Headquarters First United States Army, dated 18 May 1944,
the Silver Star Medal is awarded to the following individual.
Kenneth J. Merritt, 18161538, Corporal, 508th Parachute
Infantry. For gallantry in action on 4 July 1944 northeast of La Cuiroterie,
France. While attacking through the village of La Cuiroterie, one of the two
heavy machine guns commanded by Corporal Merritt, Headquarters First
Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry, was knocked out by enemy fire and its
crew wounded. In order to equalize the fire power in his sector, Corporal
Merritt secured a number of hand grenades and crawled toward the enemy
machine gun position. When within range, he assaulted the position and put
it out of action with his grenades. This voluntary action enabled the
battalion to maintain its line at that point and repulse two counter-attacks
with the assistance of the remaining machine guns.
Entered military service from Muskogee, Oklahoma.
/signed/ M. B. Ridgway, MG, U.S. Army Commanding (8/7/44)