Vernon McGarity in 1945 with President Harry S. Truman
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Technical Sergeant Vernon McGarity , Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Bartlett, Tennessee at the age of 91.
Vernon was born in Right Tennessee on December 21, 1921. He attended Morris Chapel Grammar School and Morris Chapel High School in Morris Chapel, Tennessee.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at a White House ceremony on October 12, 1945.
as a squad leader, Vernon was painfully wounded in an artillery barrage
that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched by the Germans
near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944.
He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused
to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead.
the day the heroic squad leader rescued 1 of his friends who had been
wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted his
comrades to repulse the enemy’s attempts at infiltration. When morning
came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy
fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy’s
lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad
drove the attacking infantrymen back, and 3 supporting tanks withdrew.
He rescued, under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then
directed devastating fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by
the hostile troops to clear resistance from the area.
Funeral services are pending. There are 79 recipients alive today.