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Gerald C. Kelleher

Home of record: New York

Gerald Kelleher earned his FIRST Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action on October 29, 1944, while serving as a Lieutenant Colonel with the 415th Infantry during World War II. He subsequently earned a SECOND Distinguished Service Cross during the Korean War.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Cross

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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 Lieutenant Colonel Gerald C. Kelleher (ASN: 0-310994), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding the 3d Battalion, 415th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 29 October 1944, in Holland. When the column was halted by artillery and mortar fire, Lieutenant Colonel Kelleher, with total disregard for his own safety, ran quickly to the head of the column and rallied his men then led the advance by acting as the point. When he observed an enemy patrol of approximately ten men approaching, he ran forward, armed only with a pistol, charged the patrol, and forced them to retreat after capturing two of their number. Later in the day, when his Executive Officer, Major Robert Russi, was wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Kelleher courageously ran to the fallen officer and carried him to the cover of a nearby building, despite enemy fire. The extraordinary heroism and courageous action of Lieutenant Colonel Kelleher contributed in large measure to the success of the drive. His inspiring leadership, 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 104th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, Ninth U.S. Army, General Orders No. 15 (1945)

Action Date: 29-Oct-44

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 415th Infantry Regiment

Division: 104th Infantry Division

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 pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Infantry) Gerald C. Kelleher, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Colonel Kelleher distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Yuru, Korea, on 24 and 25 April 1951. On the night of 24 - 25 April 1951, a numerically superior enemy launched an attack against the regiment and, due to the withdrawal of friendly flanking units, succeeded in infiltrating behind the front lines and encircling the regimental command post and other rear elements of the regiment. Although constantly exposed to enemy automatic-weapons, small-arms and bazooka fire, Colonel Kelleher personally assumed command of the reserve battalion and led the unit in a successful effort to extricate the encircled elements. Despite intense enemy fire and the illuminative glare from burning vehicles, he moved among the tanks and men of his force, effectively directing their fire and exhorting them to greater efforts. His aggressive leadership, expert advice, and personal bravery in the face the face of overwhelming odds so inspired the member of the battalion that they assaulted the enemy positions, inflicting numerous casualties on the hostile troops and forcing them to withdraw in wild disorder. His courageous actions during this engagement resulted in the successful withdrawal of the beleaguered elements with minimum losses of personnel and equipment.

General Orders: Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea: General Orders No. 419 (June 10, 1951)

Action Date: April 24 & 25, 1951

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Regiment: 35th Infantry Regiment

Division: 25th Infantry Division