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Walter O. Kraft

Home of record: Washington


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain (Infantry) Walter O. Kraft (ASN: 0-430535), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, in action against the enemy on 26 November 1944, in the vicinity of Weisweiler, Germany. Advancing against strongly fortified enemy positions, the forward elements of the Infantry were subjected to intense enemy artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire. With complete disregard for personal safety, Captain Kraft repeatedly exposed himself to the heavy enemy fire to constantly move among his men, directing and controlling their fire and movement at all times. Overrunning and securing several of the enemy emplacements, he moved forward under the heavy enemy barrage to reorganize the men and consolidate their positions. When the enemy launched several fierce counterattacks, employing Infantry supported by tanks, Captain Kraft called for artillery fire on the enemy forces. Effectively directing and adjusting the fire, he destroyed two enemy tanks and prevented others from approaching too close to his position. Observing a squad of German Paratroopers maneuvering into position from which they could deliver direct fire upon his men, he secured a BAR and, accompanied by another BAR man, engaged the enemy in a fire fight, capturing five of the enemy, killing four, and routing the remainder. Captain Kraft's aggressive leadership, devotion to duty, and courageous actions contributed materially to the success of the operations.

General Orders: Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 26 (1945)

Action Date: November 26, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Captain

Regiment: 47th Infantry Regiment

Division: 9th Infantry Division