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One of the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipients has died

At 19, Francis Currey "knocked out an enemy tank, drove back enemy troops and rescued five American Soldiers who had been pinned down under enemy fire".

SOUTH BETHLEHEM, N.Y. — Francis Currey, one of the last three living recipients of the Medal of Honor from World War II, has died.

Currey passed away on October 8, 2019, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  He was 94.

Currey was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

On December 21, 1944, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Currey found a bazooka and, while enduring "intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen", he "knocked out a tank with one shot."

He then saw five American soldiers who had been pinned down by enemy fire. 

Currey "procured an armful of antitank grenades", which he launched while under heavy enemy fire. Next, Currey used a machine gun and was able to rescue the five American soldiers.

He was just 19 at the time.

Credit: U.S. Army Signal Corps
Francis Currey

Read more about his incredible story from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. 

Along with the Medal of Honor, Currey was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, according to Cuomo's office. He was also honored with a special G.I. Joe military figure in 1998 and appeared on a cover sheet of Medal of Honor stamps in 2013, Cuomo said.

He will be interred in South Bethlehem, N.Y. on Saturday.

The only other two surviving Medal of Honor recipients from World War II are Charles Coolidge, of Smoke Mountain, Tenn., and Hershal Woodrow Williams, of Quiet Dell, West Virginia. 

According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the Medal of Honor was created for the Civil War and Congress made it a permanent decoration in 1863.


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