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Eight Days of Combat

Leonard Brostrom entered the army March 16, 1942.  He had several stateside assignments.  He went overseas in May 1944; however it was October 20, 1944 before he saw any action.  bennion_medalKilled just eight days later, he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.  The citation says:

“Leonard C. Brostrom was a rifleman with an assault platoon which ran into powerful resistance near Dagami, Leyte, Philippine Islands, on 28 October 1944.  From pillboxes, trenches, and spider holes, so well camouflaged that they could be detected at no more than twenty yards, the enemy poured machine gun and rifle fire, causing sever casualties in the platoon.  Realizing that a key pillbox in the center of the strong point would have to be knocked out if the company were to advance, PFC Brostrom, without orders and completely ignoring his own safety, ran forward to attack the pillbox with grenades.  He immediately became the prime target for all the riflemen in the area, as he rushed to the rear of the pillbox and tossed grenades through the entrance.  Six enemy soldiers left a trench in a bayonet charge against the heroic American, but he killed one and drove the others off with rifle fire.  As he threw more grenade from his completely exposed position he was wounded several times in the abdomen and knocked to the ground.  Although suffering intense pain and rapidly weakening from loss of blood, he slowly rose to hes feet and once more hurled his deadly missiles at the pillbox.  As he collapsed, the enemy began fleeing from the fortification and were killed by riflemen of his platoon.  PFC Brostrom died while being carried from the battlefield, but his intreidity and unheaitating willingness to sacrifice himself in a one-man attack against overwhelming odds enabled his company to reorganize against attack, and annihilate the entire enemy position.”  (MSS 2350 no.1099)

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