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Medal of Honor
The Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial
Medal of Honor

Doyle Glass bronze sculptor
The Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial
Medal of Honor recipient
On November 12, 2001, the Kentucky Medal of Honor Memorial, sculpted by Doyle Glass, will be dedicated. The ten foot monument depicts John C. Squires, a Medal of Honor recipient from Louisville. On the base of the sculpture will be engraved the names of all Medal of Honor recipients from Kentucky. The Memorial will honor all Kentuckians who served their country "above and beyond the call of duty".

2962 * *SQUIRES, JOHN C.

Rank: Sergeant (rank at time of action: Private First Class)
Service: U.S. Army
Birthday: 19 May 1925
Place of Birth: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Date of Death: 23 May 1944
Cemetery: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery (A-1359) (MH)-Louisville, Kentucky
Entered Service at: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Unit: Company A, 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division
Served as: Platoon Messenger
Battle or Place of Action: near Padiglione, Italy
Date of Action: 23-24 April 1944
G.O. Number, Date: 78, 2 October 1944
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At the start of his company's attack on strongly held enemy positions in and around Spaccasassi Creek, near Padiglione, Italy, on the night of 23-24 April 1944, Pfc. Squires, platoon messenger, participating in his first offensive action, braved intense artillery, mortar, and antitank gun fire in order to investigate the effect of an antitank mine explosion on the leading platoon. Despite shells which burst close to him, Pfc. Squires made his way 50 yards forward to the advance element, noted the situation, reconnoitered a new route of advance, and informed his platoon leader of the casualties sustained and the alternate route. Acting without orders, he rounded up stragglers, organized a group of lost men into a squad and led them forward. When the platoon reached Spaccasassi Creek and established an outpost, Pfc. Squires., knowing that almost all of the noncommissioned officers were casualties, placed eight men in position of his own volition, disregarding enemy machinegun, machinepistol, and grenade fire which covered the creek draw. When his platoon had been reduced to 14 men, he brought up reinforcements twice. On each trip he went through barbed wire and across an enemy minefield, under intense artillery and mortar fire. Three times in the early morning the outpost was counterattacked. Each time Pfc. Squires ignored withering enemy automatic fire and grenades which struck all around him, and fired hundreds of rounds of rifle, Browning automatic rifle, and captured German Spandau machinegun ammunition at the enemy, inflicting numerous casualties and materially aiding in repulsing the attacks. Following these fights, he moved 50 yards to the south end of the outpost and engaged 21 German soldiers in individual machine gun duels at point blank range, forcing all 21 enemy to surrender and capturing 13 more Spandau guns. Learning the function of this weapon by questioning a German officer prisoner, he placed the captured guns in position and instructed other members of his platoon in their operation. The next night when the Germans attacked the outpost again he killed three and wounded more Germans with captured potatomasher grenades and fire from his Spandau gun. Pfc. Squires was killed in a subsequent action.

Medal of Honor


In October of 1944, John C. Squires was the first soldier from Kentucky to receive the Medal of Honor in World War II. At the time, he was the youngest soldier in the Army to receive the Medal. John Squires was killed at Anzio, Italy about a month after the action for which he received the Medal and four days after his nineteenth birthday. He is buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

The monument depicts Squires in full battle gear on the night of April 23-24, 1944 near Spaccassasi Creek, Anzio, Italy. As a platoon messenger, Squires had to negotiate barbed wire, shell holes and other obstacles in order to reach the front lines. According to Squire's commanding officer, Second Lieutenant Randolph Bracey: "He left the draw, and between flashes of bursting shells which lit up the area, I could see him running through barbed wire and zigzagging across the exposed, flat fields toward our lines, shells bursting within fifteen yards of him as he moved."

I have enclosed an article that appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal on October 2, 1944, some photographs of Sgt. Squires, a copy of the official order describing the actions for which Squires was awarded the Medal, and a copy of an article that appeared in "Battle Cry" magazine regarding those events.

Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor
Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor
Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor Sgt. John Squires Medal of Honor
Doyle Glass Acrylic & Bronze Sculptor Doyle Glass Sculptor

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