Sen. Johnson, Congressman Grothman request President Biden award Fond du Lac native World War II veteran Medal of Honor
Washington, February 23, 2021
By: Brenda Ordonez (WFRV)
FOND DU LAC, Wis. – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Congressman Glenn Grothman are requesting President Biden to award the Medal of Honor to Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas, a Wisconsin native and World War II veteran.
According to the Deputy Press Secretary, on Tuesday, Sen. Ron Johnson and Congressman Glenn Grothman announced they have introduced companion bills in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives requesting President Biden to award the Medal of Honor to Megellas for his acts of valor during the Battle of the Bulge.
“It is a privilege to continue this quest on behalf of Lt. Col. Megellas,” Sen. Johnson said. “His heroic actions helped ensure the liberation of Europe and our nation’s continued freedom. He is the most decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne with the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He has been recommended for the Medal of Honor since 1945. It’s high time this happens.”
Megellas, who died in April of 2020 at the age of 103, was originally from Fond du Lac and served with the Army’s 82ndAirborne Division during World War II.
“James Megellas’ service and heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge remind us of the American values that define us as one nation united,” said Sen. Baldwin. “With the passing of James Megellas last year, I’m proud to introduce legislation that would award this Wisconsin veteran the Medal of Honor and recognize the deep sense of honor and devotion to his fellow soldiers that he so bravely displayed on the battlefield.”
The Deputy Press Secretary reports that during the Battle of the Bulge, Megellas led an outnumbered platoon in a successful attack on enemy forces near Herresbach, Belgium.
Soldiers testified that Megellas single-handedly attacked and destroyed a German Mark V Panther tank with two grenades and a submachine gun.
Officials note his platoon did not suffer a casualty during the battle, a remarkable feat.
“James Megellas’ heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge saved precious American lives and deserve our nation’s highest military recognition,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I am glad to join Senators Johnson and Baldwin in recommending he be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to memorialize this Texan’s selflessness and bravery.”