Medal of Honor: Charles H. Coolidge

Medal of Honor: Charles H. Coolidge

by Mike Piccione



Charles Coolidge was born in Signal Mountain, TN, 89 years ago and is still with us today. What happens when a Tennessee mountain man is faced with an onslaught of Nazis? Well, this one grabbed hand grenades and headed for the enemy tanks that were going to kill his troops and took them out. Please take a moment to read the citation of a hero.

Rank: Technical Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company M
Division: 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division
Born: Signal Mountain, Tenn.
Entered Service At: Signal Mountain, Tenn.
G.O. Number: 53
Date of Issue: 07/01/1945
Place / Date: East of Belmont sur Buttant, France, 2427 October 1944


Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On 27 October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.

Thanks to our friends at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for this citation.

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7 years 41 weeks ago, 11:34 AM


ecaman's picture

Join Date:
Jul 2009
Payson, UT, United States
A real American hero

Thanks, Sam, for this portrait of a real MAN. Thank God, we have men of similar courage in our military today. Would to God that the national commercial media would celebrate such men, rather than the self-aggrandizing showboats from sports and entertainment.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
7 years 41 weeks ago, 2:40 PM


manu2014's picture

Lieutenant General
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Great American

Truely one of the great from the greatest generation. God bless them all.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. Thoreau
7 years 41 weeks ago, 5:41 PM

Bigshot Nobody

Bigshot Nobody's picture

Lieutenant General
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Thank You Sam

I had an Uncle who was both Bronze Star and Silver Star for his service in Italy. My other Uncle served at Battle of the Bulge. But now when I ride by your sign on the highway here in Chattanooga, I can teach my children what it is about too.

"We fight not for Glory nor for Honors; but only and alone we fight for Freedom, which no Good Man surrenders but with his life" - Robert the Bruce "Declaration of Arbroath"
samD's picture
Posted by: samD
7 years 41 weeks ago

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