Watch: President Trump presents the Medal of Honor to widow of First Lt. Garlin M. Conner
President Donald Trump presents the Medal of Honor to the widow of First Lt. Garlin M. Conner for his actions during World War II.
The ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
First Lt. Conner was a highly-decorated WWII veteran. He spent 28 months on the front lines in eight campaigns in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, participated in four amphibious assault landings, was wounded seven times and earned a battlefield commission. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Stars and the French Croix de Guerre for his actions in Italy and France. He also received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
The citation for his Medal of Honor, according to defense.gov:
On Jan. 24, 1945, as German formations converged on the 3rd Battalion’s position, Conner voluntarily ran to the front lines to serve as a spotter, uncoiling telephone line to communicate with the infantry as he ran to direct friendly artillery on the advancing enemy forces. He found little refuge in a shallow ditch, Villard said.
With rounds impacting all around him, Conner calmly directed multiple fire missions onto the force of 600 German infantry troops, six Mark VI tanks and tank destroyers, adjusting round after round of artillery from his prone position, according to an Army website.
Resolved to Die
For three hours, he remained in a prone position, enduring the repeated onslaught of German infantry which, at one point, advanced to within 5 yards of his position. When the Germans mounted an all-out attack to overrun the American lines and his location, Conner ordered his artillery to concentrate on his own position, “resolved to die if necessary to halt the enemy,” according to his Distinguished Service Cross citation.
Ignoring the friendly artillery shells blanketing his position and exploding within mere feet, Conner continued to direct artillery fire on the enemy assault swarming around him until the German attack was finally shattered and broken. By his incredible heroism and disregard for his own life, Conner stopped the enemy advance. The artillery he expertly directed while under constant enemy fire killed about 50 German soldiers and wounded at least 100 more, preventing heavy casualties in his battalion, Army officials said.