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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 25 January

There are eight nine Medals awarded on actions for this day.  Seven are naval lifesaving Medals, covering two events, and the eigth is a posthumous combat award during WWII.  And the most recent is from Afghanistan, in 2008.

Interim Awards, 1901-1911

BEHNE, FREDERICK

Rank and organization: Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 3 October 1873, Lodi, N.J. Accredited to: New Jersey. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Iowa, 25 January 1905. Following the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D of that vessel, Behne displayed extraordinary heroism in the resulting action.

BEHNKE, HEINRICH

Rank and organization: Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 10 April 1882, Germany. Accredited to: Washington, D.C. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: While serving aboard the U.S.S. Iowa, Behnke displayed extraordinary heroism at the time of the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D on board that vessel, 25 January 1905.

BRESNAHAN, PATRICK FRANCIS

Rank and organization: Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 1 May 1872, Peabody, Mass. Accredited to: Vermont. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Iowa for extraordinary heroism at the time of the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D on board that vessel, 25 January 1905.

CORAHORGI, DEMETRI

Rank and organization: Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Aboard U.S.S. Iowa, 25 January 1905. Entered service at: New York. Born: 3 January 1880, Trieste, Austria. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Iowa for extraordinary heroism at the time of the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D on board that vessel, 25 January 1905.

FLOYD, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Boilermaker, U.S. Navy. Born: 21 February 1850, Ireland. Accredited to: South Carolina. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Iowa, for extraordinary heroism at the time of the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D on board that vessel, 25 January 1905.

JOHANNESSEN, JOHANNES J.

Rank and organization: Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 13 May 1872, Bodo, Norway. Enlisted at: Yokohama, Japan. G.O. No.: 182, 20 March 1905. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Iowa, for extraordinary heroism at the time of the blowing out of the manhole plate of boiler D on board that vessel, 25 January 1905.

KLEIN, ROBERT

Rank and organization: Chief Carpenter's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 11 November 1884, Gerdonen, Germany. Enlisted at: Marseilles, France. G.O. No.: 173, 6 October 1904. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Raleigh, for heroism in rescuing shipmates overcome in double bottoms by fumes of turpentine, 25 January 1904.

World War II.  This was one tough soldier. Starting from the moment he took on a tank and drove it off with automatic rifle fire, leave aside the rest...
*VALDEZ, JOSE F.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Rosenkrantz, France, 25 January 1945. Entered service at: Pleasant Grove, Utah. Birth: Governador, N. Mex. G. O. No.: 16, 8 February 1946. Citation: He was on outpost duty with 5 others when the enemy counterattacked with overwhelming strength. From his position near some woods 500 yards beyond the American lines he observed a hostile tank about 75 yards away, and raked it with automatic rifle fire until it withdrew. Soon afterward he saw 3 Germans stealthily approaching through the woods. Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened up with heavy automatic weapons fire from a range of 30 yards, he engaged in a fire fight with the attackers until he had killed all 3. The enemy quickly launched an attack with 2 full companies of infantrymen, blasting the patrol with murderous concentrations of automatic and rifle fire and beginning an encircling movement which forced the patrol leader to order a withdrawal. Despite the terrible odds, Pfc. Valdez immediately volunteered to cover the maneuver, and as the patrol 1 by 1 plunged through a hail of bullets toward the American lines, he fired burst after burst into the swarming enemy. Three of his companions were wounded in their dash for safety and he was struck by a bullet that entered his stomach and, passing through his body, emerged from his back. Overcoming agonizing pain, he regained control of himself and resumed his firing position, delivering a protective screen of bullets until all others of the patrol were safe. By field telephone he called for artillery and mortar fire on the Germans and corrected the range until he had shells falling within 50 yards of his position. For 15 minutes he refused to be dislodged by more than 200 of the enemy; then, seeing that the barrage had broken the counter attack, he dragged himself back to his own lines. He died later as a result of his wounds. Through his valiant, intrepid stand and at the cost of his own life, Pfc. Valdez made it possible for his comrades to escape, and was directly responsible for repulsing an attack by vastly superior enemy forces.

Operation Enduring Freedom

MILLER, ROBERT J.

Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Konar Province, Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle's turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support. Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team. While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller's heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.