About George Benton Turner
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class George Benton Turner (ASN: 39110988), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty on 3 January 1945, while serving with Battery C, 499th Armored Field Artillery, 14th Armored Division. At Philippsbourg, France, Private First Class Turner was cut off from his artillery unit by an enemy armored infantry attack. Coming upon a friendly infantry company withdrawing under the vicious onslaught, he noticed two German tanks and approximately 75 supporting foot soldiers advancing down the main street of the village. Seizing a rocket launcher, he advanced under intense small-arms and cannon fire to meet the tanks and, standing in the middle of the road, fired at them, destroying one and disabling the second. From a nearby half-track he then dismounted a machinegun, placed it in the open street and fired into the enemy infantrymen, killing or wounding a great number and breaking up the attack. In the American counterattack which followed, two supporting tanks were disabled by an enemy antitank gun. Firing a light machinegun from the hip, Private First Class Turner held off the enemy so that the crews of the disabled vehicles could extricate themselves. He ran through a hail of fire to one of the tanks which had burst into flames and attempted to rescue a man who had been unable to escape; but an explosion of the tank's ammunition frustrated his effort and wounded him painfully. Refusing to be evacuated, he remained with the infantry until the following day, driving off an enemy patrol with serious casualties, assisting in capturing a hostile strong point, and voluntarily and fearlessly driving a truck through heavy enemy fire to deliver wounded men to the rear aid station. The great courage displayed by Private First Class Turner and his magnificently heroic initiative contributed materially to the defense of the French town and inspired the troops about him.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 79 (September 14, 1945)
Action Date: 3-Jan-45
Rank: Private First Class
Company: Battery C
Battalion: 499th Armored Field Artillery
Division: 14th Armored Division