First Lieutenant Jake L Wertich - DSC Recipient
First Lieutenant Jake L. Wertich, 0-01304472, Coast Artillery Corps, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with the military operations against an armed enemy on 21 December 1944 at Trois Ponts, Belgium.
When an enemy attack caused the forward troops to withdraw, Lt. Wertich refused to be driven from his gun. When all members of his crew were killed or wounded, he manned his gun himself, covering the withdrawal of the company from the hill. Even when the enemy over-ran his position, Lt. Wertich remained at his gun, thereby keeping the enemy tanks out of position and assuring success of the maneuver. His gallant action saved the lives of many members of his battalion and aided materially in repulsing a strong enemy attack had the city of Liege, Belgium, as it objective.
Lt. Wertich is known to have knocked out two enemy tanks in the action which cost him his life. His personal bravery, invincible courage and self-sacrifice were an inspiration to those around him in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army..."
(Picture and story courtesy of The Outpost - 80th AA Battalion Assoc)