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Leonard M. Kravitz

Date of death: March 7, 1951
Home of record: Kings New York
Status: KIA


Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz (ASN: RA-12322776), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company M, 3d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 24th Infantry Division. Private First Class Kravitz distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea near Yangpyong, Korea, on 6 and 7 March 1951. On that date, Private Kravitz, an assistant machine gunner attached to Company L, was in a defensive position on strategic key terrain. After the friendly elements had repulsed two earlier probing attacks, the enemy launched a fanatical banzai charge with heavy supporting fire and, despite staggering losses, pressed the assault with ruthless determination. When the machine gunner was wounded in the initial phase of action, Private Kravitz immediately seized the weapon and poured devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants. The enemy effected and exploited a breach on the left flank, rendering the friendly positions untenable. Upon order to withdraw, Private Kravitz voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the retiring elements. Traversing the gun to the left to cover the infiltrating enemy and ignoring the pleadings of his comrades to fall back, he fearlessly maintained his position. Detecting a column of Communist troops moving toward friendly positions, he swept the hostile soldiers with deadly, accurate fire, killing the entire group. His destructive retaliation caused the enemy to concentrate vicious fire on his position and enabled the friendly elements to effect a withdrawal. After the strong point was re-secured, Private Kravitz' body was found lying beside the gun he had so heroically manned and numerous enemy dead lay in and around his emplacement. Private Kravitz' incredible display of valor set an inspiring example for his comrades. His unflinching courage and consummate devotion to duty reflect the highest credit on himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service.

General Orders: Department of the Army: General Orders No. 5 (January 15, 1952)

Action Date: March 6 & 7, 1951

Service: Army

Rank: Private First Class

Company: Company M

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 5th Regimental Combat Team

Division: 24th Infantry Division