US PARAS Muszynski, Walter J.

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John Robertson

Staff member
Walter J.
  • UNIT
504 Parachute Infantry Regiment (Company I)
  • RANK
Distinguished Service Cross
Holland 1944
KIA - see Roll of Honour



Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Private Walter J. Muszynski (ASN: 16049877), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 20 September 1944, about one mile north of Nijmegen, Holland. As a light machine gunner, Private First Class Muszynski crossed the Waal River in one of the lead boats of the initial assault element during the Waal bridgehead operation. As heavy machine gun and 20-mm. flak fire greeted the forward elements, Private First Class Muszynski quickly mounted his machine gun in the bow of his boat and directed heavy fire on the enemy dug in on the riverbank. Although fully exposed to enemy fire, which wounded two of his comrades, Private First Class Muszynski disregarded all possibilities of danger and remained at his precarious post. Upon reaching the opposite bank, Private First Class Muszynski maintained a continuous cover of protective fire for the movement of his squad to the main dike and from the dike to the railroad embankment, accounting for at least twenty enemy dead and wounded. At times he fired his machine gun from the hip, while moving forward as to keep pace with his squad. At the railroad embankment, heavy opposition from self-propelled flak guns was encountered, and one of the nearby flanking guns knocked Private First Class Muszynski's machine gun from his arms, destroying it. Unhesitatingly, and without orders from anyone, Private First Class Muszynski crept to within fifteen yards of the gun position directing devastating flanking fire on his platoon, and knocked it out with hand grenades, killing four of the enemy. During this phase of action, Private First Class Muszynski fell mortally wounded from enemy from enemy rifle fire. By his brave determination and valorous execution of his duties at the sacrifice of his own life, Private First Class Muszynski set an inspiring example for all his comrades and contributed directly to the successful establishment of the vital Waal bridgehead. His intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

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