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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. The extraordinary heroism displayed by Colonel Kelleher reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service. [This award supersedes award of the Silver Star as announced in General Orders Number 305, Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division, dated 29 May 1951.]

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

Silver Star

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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 Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry), [then Major] Gerald C. Kelleher (ASN: 0-310994), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action at Djebel Murdjadjo, Algeria, 10 November 1942. During the Oran offensive, after Hill 510 on Djebel Murdjadjo had been taken, fire was observed from our troops on the left, and enemy machine guns on the right. Colonel Kelleher, under heavy enemy fire and in utter disregard of his own safety, climbed upon a rock and wave an American flag as a signal to our own troops to cease fire. He personally led elements of the battalion in the successful assault.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 33 (December 7, 1942)

Action Date: November 10, 1942

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 26th Infantry Regiment

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Silver Star

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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 a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Gerald C. Kelleher (ASN: 0-310994), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action in the vicinity of Beja, Tunisia, 27 April 1943. During a savage assault on a strategic enemy hill, Colonel Kelleher, forced to take cover from heavy enemy mortar and machine gun fire, observed one of his companies withdrawing from the slope. Despite deadly machine gun fire, Colonel Kelleher proceeded to this company, reorganized it and enabled it to repel the enemy.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 34 (1943)

Action Date: April 27, 1943

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 26th Infantry Regiment

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Silver Star

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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 a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Gerald C. Kelleher (ASN: 0-310994), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action on Hill 482, 28 March 1943. Immediately after receiving orders to advance to the south and attack a strongly fortified enemy sector, Colonel Kelleher skillfully led his battalion across unfamiliar enemy terrain. The courage and brilliant leadership of Colonel Kelleher during the ensuing action, coupled with his keen tactical judgment, enabled his battalion to seize and hold its objective despite heavy odds.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 35 (July 31, 1943)

Action Date: March 28, 1943

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 26th Infantry Regiment

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Silver Star to Colonel (Infantry) Gerald C. Kelleher (ASN: 0-310994/0-38750), United States Army, for gallantry in action as Commanding Officer, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in Korea. On 29 March 1951, while the Regiment was regrouping south of Chan-go, Korea, Colonel Kelleher organized a task force to strike an advance blow on the hostile force defending the village. Upon reaching the outskirts of the objective, he exposed himself to a devastating mortar barrage to lead a determined assault on the enemy positions. Advancing to the point of strongest resistance, he directed the movement and fire of his men so effectively that the enemy was thrown into a complete rout. Colonel Kelleher's exemplary courage, military ability and unremitting devotion to duty were an inspiration to his command and enhance the high traditions of the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 294 (May 24, 1951)

Action Date: March 29, 1951

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Regiment: 35th Infantry Regiment

Division: 25th Infantry Division