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Lieutenant John Shelby

1st Lieutenant John N. Shelby

DSC 1944

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Infantry) John D. Shelby (ASN: 0-885777), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. First Lieutenant Shelby landed with the initial assault waves on the coast of France. He immediately organized five men into an assault team and, completely disregarding his own safety, led them in a 200-yard sash through devastating enemy fire and across a mine field to attack an anti-tank gun. He alone assaulted the gun position and engaged the enemy crew in a hand-to-hand battle, killing one man and taking six prisoners. Leaving the defense of the gun and position to his men, he then took command of a group of troops who were advancing leaderless up the hill and personally led them, despite heavy sniper fire, in an attack upon a nearby town. The personal bravery, initiative and courageous leadership displayed by First Lieutenant Shelby exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

DSC 1943

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Infantry), [then Second Lieutenant] John D. Shelby (ASN: 0-885777), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 11 July 1943, in Sicily. In the course of a savage counterattack by some thirty enemy tanks and infantry to drive through, First Lieutenant Shelby with complete disregard for his personal safety moved to an observation post in advance of his battalion. Though subjected to intense artillery and small arms fire in his vulnerable position, he laid the fire of his mortar platoon on the enemy infantry with such devastating effect that their attack was disorganized. Though subjected to fierce tank fire, he continued to call for his own fire until the shells from his own guns were falling within one hundred and fifty yards of his position. He remained at this forward post until it was physically overrun by the enemy armor. Escaping injury, he returned to his own unit and continued the fight until the enemy withdrew with heavy losses. First Lieutenant Shelby's inspiring leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

Lieutenant John Shelby on Film

Watch Lt. Shelby on the following combat film dvds by Combat Reels:

1st Infantry Division in Europe Fall 1944



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