President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to then-First Lieutenant Garlin M. Conner, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry during World War II at a ceremony at the White House. Then-First Lieutenant Conner’s spouse, Pauline Lyda Wells Conner, and family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice. Additional details on the ceremony date for then-First Lieutenant Conner will be announced separately.
Then-First Lieutenant Garlin M. Conner will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions on 24 January 1945, while serving as an intelligence officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Then-First Lieutenant Conner voluntarily left his position of relative safety to place himself in a better position to direct artillery fire onto the assaulting enemy infantry and armor. He remained in an exposed position which was 30 yards ahead of the defending force for a period of three hours. Despite the enemy coming within five yards of his position and friendly artillery shells exploding around him, he continued to direct the fire of friendly artillery, which ultimately repelled the assaulting enemy elements.
Garlin Conner was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 1, 1941 and sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for training. While at Fort Lewis, Garlin was assigned to Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. He deployed to the North African Theater of Operations on October 23, 1942 and was part of the amphibious assault landing at Fedala, French Morocco on November 8, 1942. As part of the 3d Infantry Division, he continued combat operations throughout North Africa, prior to assaulting Sicily, and subsequently the Italian mainland during the division’s push into continental Europe.
As an enlisted man, he ultimately attained the rank of Technical Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant. On June 26, 1944, he received a battlefield commission as an Infantry officer and served as an Infantry Unit Commander and Intelligence Staff Officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. He was discharged from the U.S. Army on June 22, 1945.
THE MEDAL OF HONOR:
The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President, in the name of the Congress, to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while:
- engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
- engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- 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 meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.