Congressional Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.
Place and date: At Horseshoe Hill, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 27 July 1943.
Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio.
Born: Cleveland, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 86, 23 December 1943.
Pfc. Petrarca advanced with the leading troop element to within 100 yards of the enemy fortifications where mortar and small-arms fire caused a number of casualties. Singling out the most seriously wounded, he worked his way to the aid of Pfc. Scott, lying within 75 yards of the enemy, whose wounds were so serious that he could not even be moved out of the direct line of fire. Pfc Petrarca fearlessly administered first aid to Pfc. Scott and two other soldiers and shielded the former until his death.
On 29 July 1943, Pfc. Petrarca, during an intense mortar barrage, went to the aid of his sergeant who had been partly buried in a foxhole under the debris of a shell explosion, dug him out, restored him to consciousness and caused his evacuation.
On 31 July 1943 and against the warning of a fellow soldier, he went to the aid of a mortar fragment casualty where his path over the crest of a hill exposed him to enemy observation from only 20 yards distance. A target for intense knee mortar and automatic fire, he resolutely worked his way to within two yards of his objective where he was mortally wounded by hostile mortar fire.
Even on the threshold of death he continued to display valor and contempt for the foe, raising himself to his knees, this intrepid soldier shouted defiance at the enemy, made a last attempt to reach his wounded comrade and fell in glorious death.
Rank and organization: Captain (then Lieutenant), U.S. Army, 172d Infantry, 43d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Munda Air Strip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 29 July 1943.
Entered service at: Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Born: Washington, D.C.
G.O. No.: 81, 14 October 1944.
After 27 days of bitter fighting, the enemy held a hilltop salient which commanded the approach to Munda Airstrip. Our troops were exhausted from prolonged battle and heavy casualties, but Lt. Scott advanced with the leading platoon of his company to attack the enemy position, urging his men forward in the face of enemy rifle and enemy machinegun fire.
He had pushed forward alone to a point midway across the barren hilltop within 75 yards of the enemy when the enemy launched a desperate counterattack, which if successful would have gained undisputed possession of the hill. Enemy riflemen charged out on the plateau, firing and throwing grenades as they moved to engage our troops. The company withdrew, but Lt. Scott, with only a blasted tree stump for cover, stood his ground against the wild enemy assault. By firing his carbine and throwing the grenades in his possession he momentarily stopped the enemy advance using the brief respite to obtain more grenades. Disregarding small-arms fire and exploding grenades aimed at him, suffering a bullet wound in the left hand and a painful shrapnel wound in the head after his carbine had been shot from his hand, he threw grenade after grenade with devastating accuracy until the beaten enemy withdrew.
Our troops, inspired to renewed effort by Lt. Scott's intrepid stand and incomparable courage, swept across the plateau to capture the hill, and from this strategic position four days later captured Munda Airstrip.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.
Place and date: On New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 31 July 1943.
Entered service at: Clyde, Ohio.
Born: Tiffin, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 3, 6 January 1944.
On 31 July 1943, the infantry company of which Pvt. Young was a member, was ordered to make a limited withdrawal from the battle line in order to adjust the battalion's position for the night. At this time, Pvt. Young's platoon was engaged with the enemy in a dense jungle where observation was very limited. The platoon suddenly was pinned down by intense fire from a Japanese machinegun concealed on higher ground only 75 yards away. The initial burst wounded Pvt. Young. As the platoon started to obey the order to withdraw, Pvt. Young called out that he could see the enemy emplacement, whereupon he started creeping toward it. Another burst from the machinegun wounded him the second time. Despite the wounds, he continued his heroic advance, attracting enemy fire and answering with rifle fire. When he was close enough to his objective, he began throwing handgrenades, and while doing so was hit again and killed. Pvt. Young's bold action in closing with this Japanese pillbox and thus diverting its fire, permitted his platoon to disengage itself, without loss, and was responsible for several enemy casualties.
[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.]