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with Nick Oresko

with Nick Oresko

Germany -- Automatic weapons fire was crackling all around him. To his amazement, Oresko covered the fifty feet to the first German gun position without getting hit. He tossed a grenade into the log bunker; after it exploded, he rushed in, shooting point-blank with his rifle and killing all the soldiers manning the position. Then the second German gun started firing on him, wounding him in the hip and knocking him down. While the gun continued to fire, he realized that because he was at the base of the bunker, below the gun slit, the gunners couldn’t see him. As he crawled forward, his hand touched a wire hidden in the snow; he rolled into a shallow hole just as a booby trap went off close by.

By this time, Oresko was directly below the German machine gun, which continued firing over his head at his men. He reached inside his jacket for grenades, but there weren’t any there—he had lost them in the snow. He crawled back to retrieve them, then headed back to the gun. He pulled the pin on one of the grenades, counted to four, and tossed it into the bunker. As it exploded, he followed it in, wiping out all the soldiers inside with his rifle. In all, he killed twelve Germans and cleared the way for his company to go back on the offensive.

The position secured, Oresko allowed medics to evacuate him to a field hospital.