Friday, June 4, 2010
2nd Lt Raymond Zussman 1917 - 1944
Born: Jul. 23, 1917
Hamtramck Wayne County Michigan, USA
KIA: Sep. 21, 1944, France
Raymond Zussman was in command of two tanks with an infantry of company on the attack of the axis powers in hostile France of September 12th, 1944 in the town of Noroy le Bourg, France. The night took a turn for the worst when at 7 p.m. his command tank bogged down and armed only with a M-1 carbine he set off on foot to advance to the remaining tanks and infantry.
Zussman alone still would come back from the brushes every once in a while to designate a targets for his tanks and infantry to destroy. He located a road block and instructed his tanks to destroy it in which time Zussman was completely exposed to fire from enemy positions. Only fifty yards away walking next to American Tank's Zussman directed a hit which killed three Germans and had eight surrendered at the road block.
Again he proceeded to walk by his tanks and directing fire his battalion was held up by a group of houses held down by German soldiers which was firing machine guns and small fire arms at the dust of his feet. Second Lieutenant Zussman instructed his tanks to destroy these German held houses and after grenades being thrown and machine guns continuing to take fire on him. After he led his tank battalion their Germans surrendered and eleven were killed in the first house.
Continuing Zussman suddenly disappeared around a street corner on foot and all that was heard was the shot of his carbine. After a few minutes his fellow soldiers began to worry and before they knew it Second Lieutenant Raymond Zussman was standing behind thirty German soldiers walking them out to his tanks.
This day Under Second Lieutenant Raymond Zussman eighteen German Soldiers were killed and ninety-two soldiers were captured. For his efforts he was awarded the Medal of Honor the nation's Highest Honor for his courage in France.
Nine days later he was killed in action, he is one of only two Jewish Americans awarded the Medal of Honor for performances of duty in WW II.
Medal of Honor Citation
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 756th Tank Battalion. Place and date: Noroy le Bourg, France, 12 September 1944. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Hamtramck, Mich. G.O. No.: 42, 24 May 1945. Citation: On 12 September 1944, 2d Lt. Zussman was in command of 2 tanks operating with an infantry company in the attack on enemy forces occupying the town of Noroy le Bourg, France. At 7 p.m., his command tank bogged down. Throughout the ensuing action, armed only with a carbine, he reconnoitered alone on foot far in advance of his remaining tank and the infantry. Returning only from time to time to designate targets, he directed the action of the tank and turned over to the infantry the numerous German soldiers he had caused to surrender. He located a road block and directed his tanks to destroy it. Fully exposed to fire from enemy positions only 50 yards distant, he stood by his tank directing its fire. Three Germans were killed and 8 surrendered. Again he walked before his tank, leading it against an enemy-held group of houses, machine gun and small arms fire kicking up dust at his feet. The tank fire broke the resistance and 20 enemy surrendered. Going forward again alone he passed an enemy-occupied house from which Germans fired on him and threw grenades in his path. After a brief fire fight, he signaled his tank to come up and fire on the house. Eleven German soldiers were killed and 15 surrendered. Going on alone, he disappeared around a street corner. The fire of his carbine could be heard and in a few minutes he reappeared driving 30 prisoners before him. Under 2d Lt. Zussman's heroic and inspiring leadership, 18 enemy soldiers were killed and 92 captured.