The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the military, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
This highest U.S. Award for Valor in Combat has only been awarded 3470 times for all American conflicts since its inception in 1861. Of the 16 million American troops that served in WWII, only 464 received the Medal of Honor. Of those only 324 went to Army personnel and only 5 of those went to Tank Destroyer soldiers. The following Citation information is about those few. Biography information can be found in the Honoree section of the site:
|Staff Sgt. Clyde L. Coate – 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion
– Location and Date: Bruyeres, France, October 25, 1944.
|1st Lt. Turney W. Leonard – 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
– Location and Date: Kommerscheidt, Germany, November 6, 1944.
|Staff Sgt. Herschel F. Briles – 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion
– Location and Date: Scherpenseel, Germany, November 20, 1944.
|1st Lt. Charles L. Thomas – 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion
– Location and Date: Climbach, France, December 14, 1944.
|Sgt. Arthur O. Beyer – 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
– Location and Date: Arloncourt, Belgium, January 15, 1945.