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29TH DIVISION - WWII STORIES

 

Ralph S. COFFMAN

Staff Sergeant

29th Infantry Division

116th Infantry Regiment

L Company

Distinguished Service Cross citation:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Ralph S. Coffman (20365662), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving Company L, 3d Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, at Normandy, France. Upon landing on the coast of France with the initial assault troops, Staff Sergeant Coffman observed that they were immediately pinned down by heavy enemy rifle, machine gun and artillery fire. With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Coffman gathered together a group of men and fearlessly led them forward to destroy several enemy machine guns which had been inflicting numerous casualties on the men pinned down on the beach. Staff Sergeant Coffman's valor, initiative, 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 29th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 29 (June 29, 1944)