About Max Thompson
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Max Thompson, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 18 October 1944, Company K, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, occupying a position on a hill near Haaren, Germany, was attacked by an enemy infantry battalion supported by tanks. The assault was preceded by an artillery concentration, lasting an hour, which inflicted heavy casualties on the company. While engaged in moving wounded men to cover, Sergeant Thompson observed that the enemy had overrun the positions of the 3d Platoon. He immediately attempted to stem the enemy's advance single-handedly. He manned an abandoned machinegun and fired on the enemy until a direct hit from a hostile tank destroyed the gun. Shaken and dazed, Sergeant Thompson picked up an automatic rifle and although alone against the enemy force which was pouring into the gap in our lines, he fired burst after burst, halting the leading elements of the attack and dispersing those following. Throwing aside his automatic rifle, which had jammed, he took up a rocket gun, fired on a light tank, setting it on fire. By evening the enemy had been driven from the greater part of the captured position but still held three pillboxes. Sergeant Thompson's squad was assigned the task of dislodging the enemy from these emplacements. Darkness having fallen and finding that fire of his squad was ineffective from a distance, Sergeant Thompson crawled forward alone to within 20 yards of one of the pillboxes and fired grenades into it. The Germans holding the emplacement concentrated their fire upon him. Though wounded, he held his position fearlessly, continued his grenade fire, and finally forced the enemy to abandon the blockhouse. Sergeant Thompson's courageous leadership inspired his men and materially contributed to the clearing of the enemy from his last remaining hold on this important hill position.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 47, June 18, 1945
Action Date: 18-Oct-44
Company: Company K
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 18th Infantry Regiment
Division: 1st Infantry Division