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Congressional Medal of Honor
Airborne Heroes


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

MELVIN E. BIDDLE

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Place and date: Near Soy, Belgium, 23-24 December 1944.
Entered service at: Anderson, Indiana.
Born: Daleville, Indiana.
G.O. No. 95, 30 October 1945.

Serving as lead scout during an attack to relieve the enemy-encircled town of Hotton, Pfc. Biddle aggressively penetrated a densely wooded area, advanced 400 yards until he came within range of intense enemy rifle fire, and within 20 yards of enemy positions killed three snipers with unerring marksmanship.

Courageously continuing his advance an additional 200 yards, he discovered a hostile machinegun position and dispatched its two occupants. He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machinegun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third.

After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, coolly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot three more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within 20 yards of a machinegun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle.

When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out two enemy tanks.

At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machinegun position and from a distance of 50 yards killed the crew and two supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic weapon support, fled panic stricken.

Pfc. Biddle's intrepid courage and superb daring during his 20-hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

ROBERT G. COLE

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Carentan, France, 11 June 1944.
Entered service at: San Antonio, Texas.
Born: Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944.

Lt. Col. Cole was personally leading his battalion in forcing the last four bridges on the road to Carentan when his entire unit was suddenly pinned to the ground by intense and withering enemy rifle, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire placed upon them from well-prepared and heavily fortified positions within 150 yards of the foremost elements.

After the devastating and unceasing enemy fire had for over one hour prevented any move and inflicted numerous casualties, Lt. Col. Cole, observing this almost hopeless situation, courageously issued orders to assault the enemy positions with fixed bayonets.

With utter disregard for his own safety and completely ignoring the enemy fire, he rose to his feet in front of his battalion and with drawn pistol shouted to his men to follow him in the assault. Catching up a fallen man's rifle and bayonet, he charged on and led the remnants of his battalion across the bullet-swept open ground and into the enemy position.

His heroic and valiant action in so inspiring his men resulted in the complete establishment of our bridgehead across the Douve River. The cool fearlessness, personal bravery, and outstanding leadership displayed by Lt. Col. Cole reflect great credit upon himself and are worthy of the highest praise in the military service.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

CHARLES N. DEGLOPPER

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Co. C, 325th Glider Infantry, 82d Airborne Division.
Place and date: Merderet River at la Fiere, France, 9 June 1944.
Entered service at: Grand Island, New York.
Born: Grand Island, New York.
G.O. No.: 22, 28 February 1946.

He was advancing with the forward platoon to secure a bridgehead across the Merderet River at La Fiere, France. At dawn the platoon had penetrated an outer line of machineguns and riflemen, but in so doing had become cut off from the rest of the company. Vastly superior forces began a decimation of the stricken unit and put in motion a flanking maneuver which would have completely exposed the American platoon in a shallow roadside ditch where it had taken cover.

Detecting this danger, Pfc. DeGlopper volunteered to support his comrades by fire from his automatic rifle while they attempted a withdrawal through a break in a hedgerow 40 yards to the rear. Scorning a concentration of enemy automatic weapons and rifle fire, he walked from the ditch onto the road in full view of the Germans, and sprayed the hostile positions with assault fire. He was wounded, but he continued firing. Struck again, he started to fall; and yet his grim determination and valiant fighting spirit could not be broken. Kneeling in the roadway, weakened by his grievous wounds, he leveled his heavy weapon against the enemy and fired burst after burst until killed outright.

He was successful in drawing the enemy action away from his fellow soldiers, who continued the fight from a more advantageous position and established the first bridgehead over the Merderet. In the area where he made his intrepid stand his comrades later found the ground strewn with dead Germans and many machineguns and automatic weapons which he had knocked out of action.

Pfc. DeGlopper's gallant sacrifice and unflinching heroism while facing unsurmountable odds were in great measure responsible for a highly important tactical victory in the Normandy Campaign.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

RAY E. EUBANKS

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 503d Parachute Infantry.
Place and date: At Noemfoor Island, Dutch New Guinea, 23 July 1944.
Entered service at: LaGrange, North Carolina.
Born: 6 February 1922, Snow Hill, North Carolina.
G.O. No.: 20, 29 March 1945.

While moving to the relief of a platoon isolated by the enemy, his company encountered a strong enemy position supported by machinegun, rifle, and mortar fire. Sgt. Eubanks was ordered to make an attack with one squad to neutralize the enemy by fire in order to assist the advance of his company. He maneuvered his squad to within 30 yards of the enemy where heavy fire checked his advance.

Directing his men to maintain their fire, he and two scouts worked their way forward up a shallow depression to within 25 yards of the enemy. Directing the scouts to remain in place, Sgt. Eubanks armed himself with an automatic rifle and worked himself forward over terrain swept by intense fire to within 15 yards of the enemy position when he opened fire with telling effect. The enemy, having located his position, concentrated their fire with the result that he was wounded and a bullet rendered his rifle useless.

In spite of his painful wounds he immediately charged the enemy and using his weapon as a club killed four of the enemy before he was himself again hit and killed.

Sgt. Eubanks' heroic action, courage, and example in leadership so inspired his men that their advance was successful. They killed 45 of the enemy and drove the remainder from the position, thus effecting the relief of our beleaguered troops.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

ELMER E. FRYAR

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company E, 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 8 December 1944.
Entered service at: Denver, Colorado.
Born: Denver, Colorado.
G.O. No.: 35, 9 May 1945.

Pvt. Fryar's battalion encountered the enemy strongly entrenched in a position supported by mortars and automatic weapons. The battalion attacked, but in spite of repeated efforts was unable to take the position.

Pvt. Fryar's company was ordered to cover the battalion's withdrawal to a more suitable point from which to attack, but the enemy launched a strong counterattack which threatened to cut off the company. Seeing an enemy platoon moving to outflank his company, he moved to higher ground and opened heavy and accurate fire. He was hit, and wounded, but continuing his attack he drove the enemy back with a loss of 27 killed.

While withdrawing to overtake his squad, he found a seriously wounded comrade, helped him to the rear, and soon overtook his platoon leader, who was assisting another wounded. While these four were moving to rejoin their platoon, an enemy sniper appeared and aimed his weapon at the platoon leader.

Pvt. Fryar instantly sprang forward, received the full burst of automatic fire in his own body and fell mortally wounded. With his remaining strength he threw a hand grenade and killed the sniper.

Pvt. Fryar's indomitable fighting spirit and extraordinary gallantry above and beyond the call of duty contributed outstandingly to the success of the battalion's withdrawal and its subsequent attack and defeat of the enemy. His heroic action in unhesitatingly giving his own life for his comrade in arms exemplifies the highest tradition of the U.S. Armed Forces.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

LEONARD A. FUNK, JR.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 508th Parachute Infantry, 82d Airborne Division.
Place and date: Holzheim, Belgium, 29 January 1945.
Entered service at: Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.
Born: Braddock Township, Pennsylvania
G.O. No.: 75, 5 September 1945.

After advancing 15 miles in a driving snowstorm, the American force prepared to attack through waist-deep drifts. The company executive officer became a casualty, and 1st Sgt. Funk immediately assumed his duties, forming headquarters soldiers into a combat unit for an assault in the face of direct artillery shelling and harassing fire from the right flank.

Under his skillful and courageous leadership, this miscellaneous group and the 3d Platoon attacked 15 houses, cleared them, and took 30 prisoners without suffering a casualty. The fierce drive of Company C quickly overran Holzheim, netting some 80 prisoners, who were placed under a 4-man guard, all that could be spared, while the rest of the understrength unit went about mopping up isolated points of resistance. An enemy patrol, by means of a ruse, succeeded in capturing the guards and freeing the prisoners, and had begun preparations to attack Company C from the rear when 1st Sgt. Funk walked around the building and into their midst.

He was ordered to surrender by a German officer who pushed a machine pistol into his stomach. Although overwhelmingly outnumbered and facing almost certain death, 1st Sgt. Funk, pretending to comply with the order, began slowly to unsling his submachine gun from his shoulder and then, with lightning motion, brought the muzzle into line and riddled the German officer.

He turned upon the other Germans, firing and shouting to the other Americans to seize the enemy's weapons. In the ensuing fight, 21 Germans were killed, many wounded, and the remainder captured.

1st Sgt. Funk's bold action and heroic disregard for his own safety were directly responsible for the recapture of a vastly superior enemy force, which, if allowed to remain free, could have taken the widespread units of Company C by surprise and endangered the entire attack plan.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

CLINTON M. HEDRICK

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 194th Glider Infantry, 17th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Lembeck, Germany, 27-28 March 1945.
Entered service at: Riverton, West Virginia.
Born: Cherrygrove, West Virginia.
G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945.

Following an airborne landing near Wesel, his unit was assigned as the assault platoon for the assault on Lembeck. Three times the landing elements were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from strongly defended positions. Each time, T/Sgt. Hedrick fearlessly charged through heavy fire, shooting his automatic rifle from his hip. His courageous action so inspired his men that they reduced the enemy positions in rapid succession.

When six of the enemy attempted a surprise, flanking movement, he quickly turned and killed the entire party with a burst of fire. Later, the enemy withdrew across a moat into Lembeck Castle. T/Sgt. Hedrick, with utter disregard for his own safety, plunged across the drawbridge alone in pursuit. When a German soldier, with hands upraised, declared the garrison wished to surrender, he entered the castle yard with four of his men to accept the capitulation. The group moved through a sally port, and was met by fire from a German self-propelled gun. Although mortally wounded, T/Sgt. Hedrick fired at the enemy gun and covered the withdrawal of his comrades. He died while being evacuated after the castle was taken.

His great personal courage and heroic leadership contributed in large measure to the speedy capture of Lembeck and provided an inspiring example to his comrades.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

PAUL B. HUFF

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.
Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 8 February 1944.
Entered service at: Cleveland, Tennessee.
Born: Cleveland, Tennessee.
G.O. No.: 41, 26 May 1944.

Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a six-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility. As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small arms and machinegun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within five to ten yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet.

Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from three enemy machineguns and a 20mm. weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machinegun position. Under direct fire from the rear machinegun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun and destroyed the gun.

During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety.

As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, one group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only three patrol members.

Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

ISADORE S. JACHMAN

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Place and date: Flamierge, Belgium, 4 January 1945.
Entered service at: Baltimore, Maryland.
Born: Berlin, Germany.
G.O. No.: 25, 9 June 1950.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at Flamierge, Belgium, on 4 January 1945, when his company was pinned down by enemy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, two hostile tanks attacked the unit, inflicting heavy casualties.

S/Sgt. Jachman, seeing the desperate plight of his comrades, left his place of cover and with total disregard for his own safety dashed across open ground through a hail of fire and seizing a bazooka from a fallen comrade advanced on the tanks, which concentrated their fire on him. Firing the weapon alone, he damaged one and forced both to retire.

S/Sgt. Jachman's heroic action, in which he suffered fatal wounds, disrupted the entire enemy attack, reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the parachute infantry.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

JOE E. MANN

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 502d Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
Place and date: Best, Holland, 18 September 1944.
Entered service at: Seattle, Washington.
Born: Rearden, Washington.
G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945.

He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. On 18 September 1944, in the vicinity of Best, Holland, his platoon, attempting to seize the bridge across the Wilhelmina Canal, was surrounded and isolated by an enemy force greatly superior in personnel and firepower. Acting as lead scout, Pfc. Mann boldly crept to within rocket-launcher range of an enemy artillery position and, in the face of heavy enemy fire, destroyed an 88mm. gun and an ammunition dump.

Completely disregarding the great danger involved, he remained in his exposed position, and, with his M-1 rifle, killed the enemy one by one until he was wounded four times. Taken to a covered position, he insisted on returning to a forward position to stand guard during the night.

On the following morning the enemy launched a concerted attack and advanced to within a few yards of the position, throwing hand grenades as they approached. One of these landed within a few feet of Pfc. Mann. Unable to raise his arms, which were bandaged to his body, he yelled "grenade" and threw his body over the grenade, and as it exploded, died.

His outstanding gallantry above and beyond the call of duty and his magnificent conduct were an everlasting inspiration to his comrades for whom he gave his life.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

LLOYD G. McCARTER

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Place and date: Corregidor, Philippine Islands, 16-19 February 1945.
Entered service at: Tacoma, Washington.
Born: 11 May 1917, St. Maries, Idaho.
G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945.

Private McCarter was a scout with the regiment which seized the fortress of Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Shortly after the initial parachute assault on 16 February 1945, he crossed 30 yards of open ground under intense enemy fire, and at pointblank range silenced a machinegun with hand grenades.

On the afternoon of 18 February he killed six snipers.

That evening, when a large force attempted to bypass his company, he voluntarily moved to an exposed area and opened fire. The enemy attacked his position repeatedly throughout the night and was each time repulsed. By two o'clock in the morning, all the men about him had been wounded; but shouting encouragement to his comrades and defiance at the enemy, he continued to bear the brunt of the attack, fearlessly exposing himself to locate enemy soldiers and then pouring heavy fire on them. He repeatedly crawled back to the American line to secure more ammunition. When his submachine gun would no longer operate, he seized an automatic rifle and continued to inflict heavy casualties. This weapon, in turn, became too hot to use and, discarding it, he continued with an M-l rifle.

At dawn the enemy attacked with renewed intensity. Completely exposing himself to hostile fire, he stood erect to locate the most dangerous enemy positions. He was seriously wounded; but, though he had already killed more than 30 of the enemy, he refused to evacuate until he had pointed out immediate objectives for attack.

Through his sustained and outstanding heroism in the face of grave and obvious danger, Pvt. McCarter made outstanding contributions to the success of his company and to the recapture of Corregidor.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

MANUEL PEREZ, JR.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 13 February 1945.
Entered service at: Chicago, Illinois.
Born: 3 March 1923 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
G.O. No.: 124, 27 December 1945.

He was lead scout for Company A, which had destroyed 11 of 12 pillboxes in a strongly fortified sector defending the approach to enemy-held Fort William McKinley on Luzon, Philippine Islands. In the reduction of these pillboxes, he killed five Japanese in the open and blasted others in pillboxes with grenades.

Realizing the urgent need for taking the last emplacement, which contained two twin-mount .50-caliber dual-purpose machineguns, he took a circuitous route to within 20 yards of the position, killing four of the enemy in his advance. He threw a grenade into the pillbox, and, as the crew started withdrawing through a tunnel just to the rear of the emplacement, shot and killed four before exhausting his clip.

He had reloaded and killed four more when an escaping Japanese threw his rifle with fixed bayonet at him. In warding off this thrust, his own rifle was knocked to the ground. Seizing the Jap rifle, he continued firing, killing two more of the enemy. He rushed the remaining Japanese, killed three of them with the butt of the rifle and entered the pillbox, where he bayoneted the one surviving hostile soldier.

Single-handedly, he killed 18 of the enemy in neutralizing the position that had held up the advance of his entire company. Through his courageous determination and heroic disregard of grave danger, Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance of his unit toward a valuable objective and provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

GEORGE J. PETERS

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company G, 507th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Fluren, Germany, 24 March 1945.
Entered service at: Cranston, Rhode Island.
Born: Cranston, Rhode Island.
G.O. No.: 16, 8 February 1946.

Pvt. Peters, a platoon radio operator with Company G, made a descent into Germany near Fluren, east of the Rhine.

With 10 others, he landed in a field about 75 yards from a German machinegun supported by riflemen, and was immediately pinned down by heavy, direct fire. The position of the small unit seemed hopeless with men struggling to free themselves of their parachutes in a hail of bullets that cut them off from their nearby equipment bundles, when Pvt. Peters stood up without orders and began a one-man charge against the hostile emplacement armed only with a rifle and grenades.

His single-handed assault immediately drew the enemy fire away from his comrades. He had run halfway to his objective, pitting rifle fire against that of the machinegun, when he was struck and knocked to the ground by a burst.

Heroically, he regained his feet and struggled onward. Once more he was torn by bullets, and this time he was unable to rise. With gallant devotion to his self-imposed mission, he crawled directly into the fire that had mortally wounded him until close enough to hurl grenades which knocked out the machinegun, killed two of its operators, and drove protecting riflemen from their positions into the safety of a woods.

By his intrepidity and supreme sacrifice, Pvt. Peters saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and made it possible for them to reach their equipment, organize, and seize their first objective.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

STUART S. STRYKER

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Wesel, Germany, 24 March 1945.
Entered service at: Portland, Oregon.
Birth: Portland, Oregon.
G.O. No.: 117, 11 December 1945.

Pfc. Stryker was a platoon runner, when the unit assembled near Wesel, Germany after a descent east of the Rhine.

Attacking along a railroad, Company E reached a point about 250 yards from a large building used as an enemy headquarters and manned by a powerful force of Germans with rifles, machineguns, and four field pieces. One platoon made a frontal assault but was pinned down by intense fire from the house after advancing only 50 yards.

So badly stricken that it could not return the raking fire, the platoon was at the mercy of German machine gunners when Pfc. Stryker voluntarily left a place of comparative safety, and, armed with a carbine, ran to the head of the unit.

In full view of the enemy and under constant fire, he exhorted the men to get to their feet and follow him. Inspired by his fearlessness, they rushed after him in a desperate charge through an increased hail of bullets. Twenty-five yards from the objective the heroic soldier was killed by the enemy fusillades.

His gallant and wholly voluntary action in the face of overwhelming firepower, however, so encouraged his comrades and diverted the enemy's attention that other elements of the company were able to surround the house, capturing more than 200 hostile soldiers and much equipment, besides freeing three members of an American bomber crew held prisoner there.

The intrepidity and unhesitating self-sacrifice of Pfc. Stryker were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

JOHN R. TOWLE

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company C, 504th Parachute Infantry, 82d Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Oosterhout, Holland, 21 September 1944.
Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio.
Born: Cleveland, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 18, 15 March 1945.

The rifle company in which Pvt. Towle served as rocket launcher gunner was occupying a defensive position in the west sector of the recently established Nijmegen bridgehead when a strong enemy force of approximately 100 infantry supported by two tanks and a half-track formed for a counterattack.

With full knowledge of the disastrous consequences resulting not only to his company but to the entire bridgehead by an enemy breakthrough, Pvt. Towle immediately and without orders left his foxhole and moved 200 yards in the face of intense small-arms fire to a position on an exposed dike roadbed. From this precarious position, Pvt. Towle fired his rocket launcher at and hit both tanks to his immediate front. Armored skirting on both tanks prevented penetration by the projectiles, but both vehicles withdrew slightly damaged.

Still under intense fire and fully exposed to the enemy, Pvt. Towle then engaged a nearby house which nine Germans had entered and were using as a strongpoint and with one round killed all nine.

Hurriedly replenishing his supply of ammunition, Pvt. Towle, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of the enemy at any cost, then rushed approximately 125 yards through grazing enemy fire to an exposed position from which he could engage the enemy half-track with his rocket launcher. While in a kneeling position preparatory to firing on the enemy vehicle, Pvt. Towle was mortally wounded by a mortar shell.

By his heroic tenacity, at the price of his life, Pvt. Towle saved the lives of many of his comrades and was directly instrumental in breaking up the enemy counterattack.


[To create this Medal of Honor information directory we used primary source materials from the U.S. Army Center for Military History. However, the official citations have been edited to make them more readable.]

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