Private Harold G. Kiner, 21 – year – old Infantry man from Enid, Oklahoma, has been posthumously awarded the Metal of Honor for the courage with which he sacrificed his life last October 2 to spare the lives of two Doughboy comrades, the War Department announced today.
Private Kiner hurled himself on an enemy hand grenade that was thrown into a position where he and two other Doughboys of the 117th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division, were avoiding enemy machine gun fire. The others, Technical Sgt. Jesse L. Leonard, of 428 Reed Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Private Frank Trasattt, of 257 South Fourth Street, Minersville, Pennsylvania, escaped injury.
The three were participating in an attack on a strong point of the Siegfried Line, near: Palenberg, Germany, when machine gun fire from a pillbox pinned them, close together, on the ground.
"The Jerries started throwing hand grenades," Sgt. Leonard reported. "One rolled among us and it looked as though all three of us would be killed. But Private Kiner covered the grenade with his body, knowing he could save our lives."
Born on a farm home at Aline, Oklahoma, on April 14, 1924, Private Kiner attended rural school and afterwards aided in farm work. He was married and his widow, Mrs. Emily Edith Kiner, lives with his mother, Mrs. Elsie Pauline Kiner, at 104 1/2 West Elm Street, Enid.
Presentation of the award will be to his wife at a date which will be announced later by the War Department. Following is the official citation:
"Private Harold G. Kiner, Company F, 117th Infantry, with four other men, was leading in a frontal assault October 2, 1944, on a Siegfried Line pillbox near Palenberg, Germany. Machine gun fire from the strongly defended enemy position 25 yards away pinmed down the attackers.
"The Germans threw hand grenades, one of which dropped between Private Kiner and two other men. With no hesitation, Private Kiner hurled himself upon the grenade, smothering the explosion. By his gallant action and voluntary sacrifice of his own life, he saved his two comrades from serious injury or death."
Citation to accompany the award of the Medal of Honor to Harold G. Kiner
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company F, 117th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Palenberg, Germany, 2 October 1944. Entered service at: Enid, Okla. Birth: Aline, Okla. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. With 4 other men, he was leading in a frontal assault 2 October 1944, on a Siegfried Line pillbox near Palenberg, Germany. Machinegun fire from the strongly defended enemy position 25 yards away pinned down the attackers. The Germans threw hand grenades, 1 of which dropped between Pvt. Kiner and 2 other men. With no hesitation, Private Kiner hurled himself upon the grenade, smothering the explosion. By his gallant action and voluntary sacrifice of his own life, he saved his 2 comrades from serious injury or death.
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