James H. Fields

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army

HOMETOWN
Caddo, TX

HONORED BY
Ralph Bozorth

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

HE WAS AWARDED THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR. FIRST LIEUTENANT, U.S. ARMY, 10TH ARMORED INFANTRY, 4TH ARMORED DIVISION. PLACE AND DATE: RECHICOURT, FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 27, 1944. ENTERED SERVICE AT HOUSTON, TEXAS. CITATION FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY AT RISK OF LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, AT RECHICOURT, FRANCE ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1944, DURING A SHARP ACTION WITH THE ENEMY INFANTRY AND TANK FORCES, FIRST LIEUTENANT FIELDS PERSONALLY LED HIS PLATOON IN A COUNTERATTACK ON THE ENEMY POSITION. ALTHOUGH HIS PLATOON HAD BEEN SERIOUSLY DEPLETED, THE ZEAL AND FERVOR OF HIS LEADERSHIP WAS SUCH AS TO INSPIRE HIS SMALL FORCE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR MISSION IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING ENEMY OPPOSITION. SEEING THAT 1 OF THE MEN HAD BEEN WOUNDED, HE LEFT HIS SLIT TRENCH AND WITH COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR HIS PERSONAL SAFETY ATTENDED THE WOUNDED MAN AND ADMINISTERED FIRST AID. WHILE RETURNING TO HIS SLIT TRENCH HE WAS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED BY A SHELL BURST, THE FRAGMENTS OF WHICH CUT THROUGH HIS FACE AND HEAD, TEARING HIS TEETH, GUMS, AND NASAL PASSAGE. ALTHOUGH RENDERED SPEECHLESS BY HIS WOUNDS, FIRST LIEUTENANT FIELDS REFUSED TO BE EVACUATED AND CONTINUED TO LEAD HIS PLATOON BY THE USE OF HAND SIGNALS. ON 1 OCCASION, WHEN 2 ENEMY MACHINE GUNS HAD A PORTION OF HIS UNIT UNDER DEADLY CROSSFIRE, HE LEFT HIS HOLE, WOUNDED AS HE WAS, RAN TO A LIGHT MACHINE GUN, WHOSE CREW HAD BEEN KNOCKED OUT, PICKED UP THE GUN, AND FIRED IT FROM HIS HIP WITH SUCH DEADLY ACCURACY THAT BOTH THE ENEMY GUN POSITIONS WERE SILENCED. HIS ACTION SO IMPRESSED HIS MEN THAT THEY FOUND NEW COURAGE TO TAKE UP THE FIRE FIGHT, INCREASING THEIR FIREPOWER, AND EXPOSING THEMSELVES MORE THAN EVER TO HARASS THE ENEMY WITH ADDITIONAL BAZOOKA AND MACHINE GUN FIRE. ONLY WHEN HIS OBJECTIVE HAD BEEN TAKEN AND THE ENEMY SCATTERED DID FIRST LIEUTENANT FIELDS CONSENT TO BE EVACUATED TO THE BATTALION COMMAND POST. AT THIS POINT HE REFUSED TO MOVE FURTHER BACK UNTIL HE HAD EXPLAINED TO HIS BATTALION COMMANDER BY DRAWING ON PAPER THE POSITION OF HIS MEN AND THE DISPOSITION OF THE ENEMY FORCES. THE DAUNTLESS AND GALLANT HEROISM DISPLAYED BY FIRST LIEUTENANT FIELDS WERE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REPULSE OF THE ENEMY FORCES AND CONTRIBUTED IN A LARGE MEASURE TO THE SUCCESSFUL CAPTURE OF HIS BATTALION OBJECTIVE DURING THIS ACTION. HIS EAGERNESS AND DETERMINATION TO CLOSE WITH THE ENEMY AND TO DESTROY HIM WAS AN INSPIRATION TO THE ENTIRE COMMAND, AND ARE IN THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE U.S. ARMED FORCES.