Press Releases

Grothman, Johnson author bill to award Medal of Honor to WWII veteran

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Washington, January 30, 2017 | Bernadette Green (202-225-2476) | comments

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) today introduced legislation to award Fond du Lac native James “Maggie” Megellas the Medal of Honor. The bill authorizes and requests President Donald Trump to award Megellas with the United States’ highest military honor for the courage he showed during the Battle of the Bulge.

“More than 70 years ago, Maggie displayed a heroism in the face of one of WWII’s bloodiest battles that is deserving of our nation’s highest award. He saved countless lives and stopped the advance of enemy troops without thought of his own life,” said Grothman. “It is high time that Mr. Megellas be awarded the Medal of Honor.”

“Lt. Col. Megellas served our country with distinction in the 82nd Airborne Division and our nation will always be grateful for his service to help liberate Europe,” said Johnson. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill so Lt. Col. Megellas will be eligible to finally receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of the Bulge.”

Background

On Jan. 28, 1945, First Lieutenant Megellas led his platoon in a successful attack on an enemy battalion near Herresbach, Belgium, that outnumbered it ten to one. After the attack, he advanced his platoon towards the town when a German Mark V Panther tank pinned them down. Megellas weathered enemy fire to attack and destroy the tank himself with just two grenades and his submachine gun. He then led his platoon to secure Herresbach for advancing Allied forces. Under Megellas’ command, his platoon did not suffer a single casualty that day.

Megellas is the most-decorated soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He was born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and graduated from Ripon College. He currently lives in Colleyville, Texas.

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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