|Paul Luther Bolden|
|Born||June 15, 1922|
|Died||May 21, 1979(aged 56)|
|Place of birth||Hobbs Island, Alabama|
|Place of burial||
Owens Cross Roads, Alabama
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942 - 1945|
|Unit||120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Paul Luther Bolden (June 15, 1922 – May 21, 1979) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
Bolden joined the Army from Madison, Alabama in October 1942, and by December 23, 1944, was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company I, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. On that day, at Petit-Coo, Belgium, he and another soldier advanced on a German-held house. While his comrade provided covering fire from across the street, Bolden tossed grenades through a window, rushed to the door, and began firing. Wounded by the greatly superior number of German soldiers inside, he retreated from the house. Realizing that the Germans would not surrender, he returned to the house despite his serious wounds and killed the remaining soldiers. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor eight months later, on August 30, 1945.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
Bolden's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorus grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachinegun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden's heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
- ↑ "Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946". WWII Army Enlistment Records. National Archives and Records Administration. June 1, 2002. http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=5&tf=F&q=paul+bolden&bc=&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=4809239&rlst=678312,990822,4809239,6348900,7642210. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- ↑ Huggins, Paul (August 21, 2013). "Paul Luther Bolden Memorial Highway honors Madison County's highest decorated WWII soldier". Huntsville, AL: Advance Publications. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/08/paul_luther_bolden_memorial_hi.html. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- "Paul L. Bolden". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7130099. Retrieved February 25, 2008.
- "Medal of Honor recipients - World War II (A–F)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
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