Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 1945....

I'm thinkin' about my Dad today. Of events that occurred 69 years ago this afternoon. I wasn't there, of course, but he told me about it several times. Each time he related the story to me, I could see him see it all over again. Veterans call it "the thousand yard stare". He relived it with all of his senses.
In the early 80's, I had acquired Dad's military records. This was included among them. This is the citation, word for word, for his being awarded the Silver Star, our nation's third highest award for valor.

 On the afternoon of 15 April, 1945, in the vicinity of Lichtenstein, Germany, a patrol of "C" Troop, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, engaged in battle with a numerically superior enemy force. The men of "C" Troop were pinned down, and four casualties, including the troop's commanding officer, were suffered...
Staff Sergeant Cecil T. Jordan immediately assumed command of the patrol, reorganized his forces and directed fire to pin down the enemy...Then, under intense enemy small arms and bazooka fire, he personally went to the aid of the wounded, but, realizing that because of the intense fire he could not evacuate them safely and properly, he placed the casualties in defilade and returned to his post. Jordan gallantly directed the fire of the patrol until reinforcements, who had been called previously, arrived. Upon their arrival, the sergeant, exercising commendable tactical ability, used the additional men to force the enemy's withdrawal without allowing them to capture any other men than the two wounded they had meanwhile taken prisoner...
Shortly after this action, S/Sgt Jordan skillfully maneuvered his small force through the enemy lines and led them to a German held hospital where the two wounded men of "C" Troop were being held. They were safely returned to friendly lines with no further loss to personnel...
S/Sgt Jordan's daring leadership, his boundless personal courage, tactical skill and determination to close with the enemy have marked his combat experience...

He was, and is, my hero.

"My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man..."  Dan Fogelberg

3 comments:

  1. Bill, you look just like your dad! What a great story and tribute--a real hero! May his memory be eternal.

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  2. I love to hear about your dad. Remember, you will always be someone's hero. Just because you didn't take control of a patrol, you have done many other things that changed people's lives.

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