Medal of Honor Recipient Laid to Rest

Photo Courtesy of 1st Infantry Division Facebook

Photo Courtesy of 1st Infantry Division Facebook

Information from 1st Infantry Division Facebook:

A Medal of Honor recipient, former 1st Infantry Division Soldier and Junction City native, Walter Ehlers was laid to rest March 8 in Riverside, Calif. He died Feb. 20 at the age of 92.

Ehlers, who received a battlefield commission to second lieutenant in 1944, was a staff sergeant six months earlier when he earned the Medal of Honor. He was the last living Medal of Honor recipient who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day and served with the 1st Inf. Div.’s 18th Infantry Regiment. His passing means there are now 75 living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

The staff sergeant earned his Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” on June 9 and 10, 1944, when he went ahead of his men to defend his squad, blocking his Soldiers from enemy gunfire despite being wounded in the back. He then carried a fellow Soldier to safety before returning to the battlefield to retrieve his rifle.

Soldiers of the “Big Red One’s” headquarters and 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team 1st Infantry Division, traveled to California to escort Ehlers to his final resting place and render final military honors.

Photo Courtesy of 1st Infantry Division Facebook

Photo Courtesy of 1st Infantry Division Facebook