Vernon McGarity | Decorated veteran, 91

Posted: May 25, 2013

Vernon McGarity, 91, a former World War II Army squad leader and Medal of Honor recipient, has died, a Memphis funeral home said Thursday. He died of cancer Tuesday night in Memphis, said Taylor Loeffel, a spokeswoman for Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. Funeral services were set for Saturday.

President Harry Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Mr. McGarity in October 1945.

According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Mr. McGarity was a technical sergeant in the 393d Infantry, 99th Infantry Division, during World War II. He was wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded a German counteroffensive near Krinkelt, Belgium, in December 1944. He received treatment but refused to be evacuated and returned to battle.

He rescued two wounded soldiers, immobilized a tank with a round from a rocket launcher, replenished the unit's ammunition under heavy fire, and destroyed a German machine gun.

Mr. McGarity received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and two Belgian medals in addition to the Medal of Honor.

- AP

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