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Russell Dunham... never say die

Russell Dunham... never say die

Sergeant Dunham’s company was facing a significant German force at the small town of Kaysersberg, France.

On the morning of Jan. 8, 1945, the men were issued white mattress covers to camouflage them in the deep snow and ordered on patrol. Heavily armed with carbine magazines and a dozen grenades hooked into his belt, Dunham scrambled through the snow up a hill where three German machine guns were dug in.

The first gun was in a bunker made of logs; Dunham took it out with a grenade. He advanced toward the second gun and had turned to call up his squad when a bullet hit him in the back and knocked him fifteen yards down the hill.

As he got back on his feet, a grenade hit nearby; he kicked it away. He then crawled to the machine gun and threw his own grenade into the bunker, killing two of the Germans and taking a third prisoner.

With blood staining his white wrapper, he ran fifty yards to the third machine-gun emplacement and took it out with a grenade, killing its three crew members. As German infantrymen began to jump out of the foxholes the machine guns had been protecting, he fired down on them.

Chasing them down the back side of the hill, Dunham and his brother Ralph, who was in the same unit, came upon a fourth machine gun, and Ralph took it out with another grenade.

Suddenly, an enemy rifleman appeared out of the trees and shot point-blank at him; he missed Dunham but killed a GI behind him.

Dunham immediately shot the German with his carbine. By the end of the action, he had killed nine enemy soldiers.