Bookmark and Share

James Megellas

Date of birth: 11-Mar-17
Place of Birth: Wisconsin, Fond du Lac
Home of record: Fond du Lac Wisconsin

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Cross

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the World War II

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) James Megellas (ASN: 0-439607), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as a Platoon Leader in Company H, 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in action against enemy forces on 30 September 1944, in Holland. First Lieutenant Megellas led his platoon on a combat patrol to secure information and prisoners. Arriving at the enemy observation post, he crawled forward alone and killed two outpost guards and the crew of a machine gun nest. He brought forward his patrol, attacked the main enemy defenses and single-handed secured three prisoners and killed two more. Two blockhouses were then attacked and destroyed. The aggressiveness of this patrol action thoroughly demoralized the enemy in the sector. His mission completed, First Lieutenant Megellas withdrew his platoon through the enemy lines and under mortar fire. He personally carried a wounded man while firing his Thompson Sub-Machine Gun with one hand. The extraordinary heroism and brilliant leadership displayed by First Lieutenant Megellas enabled his patrol to inflict disproportionate casualties on the enemy, secure vital information and force the Germans to abandon their planned offensive in the area. His conduct was an inspiration to his men and his intrepid actions, 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 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, XVI Corps, General Orders No. 69 (1945)

Action Date: 30-Sep-44

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company H

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Silver Star

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant (Infantry) James Megellas (ASN: 0-439607), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with Company H, 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, in action on 28 January 1945, near ****, Belgium. After breaking a trail across country for twelve hours in deep, dry snow, First Lieutenant Megellas, a platoon leader, was ordered to advance with his platoon and two supporting tanks along the main road leading into ***. About one mile from the town, his platoon was fired upon by about 200 Germans forming for a defense. Quickly grasping the situation, he led a frontal assault on the startled enemy who attempted to fight back. First Lieutenant Megellas' direction and leadership of his men was so superb that within ten minutes the entire force of enemy was either killed, captured, or fled into the town. He then reorganized his platoon, and with the two supporting tanks followed the enemy into the town. Braving heavy enemy sniper and rifle fire, he personally took a leading part in flushing the enemy out of their houses, killing eight and capturing five enemy. As a result of First Lieutenant Megellas' fierce leadership and skillful handling of his men, over 100 enemy were killed, 180 captured, and large amounts of valuable equipment fell into our hands. This feat was accomplished without the loss of a single man wounded or killed. First Lieutenant Megellas demonstrated a remarkable degree of tactical skill and a brand of courageous leadership which reflects highly upon himself and the Airborne Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, 82d Airborne Division, General Orders No. 36 (March 19, 1945)

Action Date: January 28, 1945

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company H

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Silver Star

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the World War II

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 Silver Star to First Lieutenant (Infantry) James Megellas (ASN: 0-439607), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with Company H, 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, in action on 20 December 1944, near ******, Belgium. While attacking across the barren crest of a hill toward their ultimate objective, Lieutenant Megellas, with utter disregard for his personal safety, fearlessly charged down the hill toward the enemy, calling for his men to follow him. Reaching a small patch of woods, Lieutenant Megellas sighted a large force of enemy armor and infantry. Lieutenant Megellas opened fire upon its crew, killing all eight. The enemy raked the trees with a curtain of intense fire, wounding one of the men. Lieutenant Megellas fearlessly picked up the wounded man and led his small force to cover, reformed it and led them to seize the objective. Lieutenant Megellas' initiative and aggressiveness reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Airborne Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, 82d Airborne Division, General Orders No. 68 (May 16, 1945)

Action Date: December 20, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company H

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Division: 82d Airborne Division