John C. Crews was awarded two Bronze Stars, one with Oak Leaf Clusters.
These honors recognize two events during the war when John's life was very seriously at risk along with the lives of many of his comrades, who were saved due to his quick and courageous actions.
On April 26, 1945, in Burgau, Germany, John saw that American troops were firing on his company by mistake. Unable to reach the other unit with his radio, he decided to run alone through the town, still occupied by German forces and snipers, and stop the friendly fire. John's memory of this event is that he "ran very fast," and that he heard the sound of the German sniper bullets whizzing by his head all the way through the town. In fact, John did suffer a slight bullet-graze to the side of his head.
The other citation was for an incident on January 7, 1945, where John was on the front line and came up suddenly on a German foxhole. In the hole was a German Colonel brandishing a Walther pistol. Fortunately, the officer was alone and John was able to aim his rifle first. Facing that, the Colonel knew it would be fatal to struggle, and he surrendered. John recalled that in that moment of personal confrontation they were both very frightened.
Photo credits: Unless otherwise indicated, all photos on this site
are from the private collection of John C. Crews.
Certain photos are reproduced courtesy of the Franklin Roosevelt Library.
Official Army photos by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. are reproduced
from the original booklets and materials.
The photo of the "Marine Devil" ship is courtesy of Bruce T. Doll, www.imagesofvision.com.
All graphics, photographs, and text on this site are ©2020, David P. Crews, unless otherwise noted.
~ ~ ~ ~