Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Don't Mess With Army Vets.... Especially MOH Winners From Mississippi!
e-mail

Posted on 05/06/2010 3:08:10 PM PDT by MindBender26

Subject: Remember the Guy that Wouldn't take the Flag down?

Head east from Carthage on Mississippi 16 toward Philadelphia . After a few miles a sign says you're in Edinburg. It s a good thing the sign's there, because there's no other way to tell.

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg -- probably didn't make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn't enough for a day's work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news last week was a neighborhood association's quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable.

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn't take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

"In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference," Barfoot told The Associated Press.

As well he should.

And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation.

It indicates he's not real good at backing down.

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano , Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety.

Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Florida; US: Mississippi; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: barfoot; chat; mohnotcmoh; nocinmoh; oldglory; recipient; unsourcedemail; veteran; virginia
WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!
1 posted on 05/06/2010 3:08:11 PM PDT by MindBender26
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

My highest award was the Army Achievement Medal, which is nowhere near the MOH, but if you mess with him, you mess with me, and I’m not 90 nor am I frail.


2 posted on 05/06/2010 3:13:50 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Don't care if he was born in a manger on July 4th! A "Natural Born" citizen requires two US parents!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

3 posted on 05/06/2010 3:13:54 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

What a man!


4 posted on 05/06/2010 3:14:38 PM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

John Wayne would be jealous of this real Hero.Amazing story!


5 posted on 05/06/2010 3:17:06 PM PDT by DCmarcher-976453 (SARAH PALIN 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

Is this even a real story? What newspaper was this originally sourced from?

I have my doubts about the veracity of the story. The MoH citation refers to him both as a Sergeant and a Second Lieutenant, and the text itself seems too ‘chatty’ in tone for what I would expect from a newspaper.


6 posted on 05/06/2010 3:19:30 PM PDT by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

It is true, he was promoted to LT. that isn’t such a leap.


7 posted on 05/06/2010 3:23:20 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney-"I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_T._Barfoot


8 posted on 05/06/2010 3:23:48 PM PDT by seton89 (Use Amendment X as your email signature)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

This story was in my paper, dallas, over a week ago.
As far as the 2 ranks, I guess you didn’t know enlisted people can become officers.


9 posted on 05/06/2010 3:25:31 PM PDT by RWGinger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian
Snopes confirms it. Wikpedia has an entry on the man.
Good picture of him too.
God Bless him.
10 posted on 05/06/2010 3:27:47 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

Just...DANG!


11 posted on 05/06/2010 3:28:54 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

George Patton said, It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.


12 posted on 05/06/2010 3:31:11 PM PDT by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

This guy’s “brave” and my “brave” are combined and that’s what you call “average” brave.

And he probably never really talked about it much.

Truly amazing.


13 posted on 05/06/2010 3:32:54 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RWGinger

In a war battlefield commissions were not uncommon especially with high casualty rates in combat.


14 posted on 05/06/2010 3:33:51 PM PDT by gunnut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: gunnut

exactly
he fought in 3 wars, a battlefield commission would be likely OR he could have even applied and gone to OCS before Korea.

People like Grammerian who doubt heroes like this man exist make me sick


15 posted on 05/06/2010 3:36:27 PM PDT by RWGinger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: WKB; wardaddy; Pathdoc; olemisspatriot; dixiebelle; Downsouth55; Islander7; Michael Knight; ...

Magnolia State Ping!

We build 'em tough down south!

God Bless our Vets!


16 posted on 05/06/2010 3:40:28 PM PDT by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Well, especially never mess with an Army veteran if he's an MOH winner AND a member of the 45th Division "Thunderbirds":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/45th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10006163

http://www.45thdivisionmuseum.com/

The "Thunderbird" insignia was inspired by a Native American legend about the bird who brings thunder, the "Thunderbird". As part of the legend tells it, anyone who lays eyes upon the Thunderbird dies.

The legend was proven true by the Germans who met them in Italy and France, and (rumor has it) especially the SS troops who met them at Dachau.

Oh yeah, The 45th is still an active unit, "downsized" or whatever the Army calls it to a Brigade. Many 45th Brigade units are serving in Afghanistan today, where no doubt many Taliban @$$holes have also laid their eyes upon the Thunderbird.

17 posted on 05/06/2010 3:42:34 PM PDT by OKSooner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

shut yur piehole


18 posted on 05/06/2010 3:43:35 PM PDT by STD (islam a spiritual-legal-political Theocratic system of governance which is not to be questioned;)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RWGinger; The Grammarian

The Wiki article includes something omitted in the post: after it identifies him as “2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.)”.....

hh


19 posted on 05/06/2010 3:50:39 PM PDT by hoosier hick (Note to RINOs: We need a choice, not an echo....Barry Goldwater)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: mstar; jdirt; Vietnam Vet From New Mexico

Belated MS ping


20 posted on 05/06/2010 3:58:56 PM PDT by WKB (From "Handout" to "Bailout")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

Everyone should read this simple sentence and then reflect on it.

21 posted on 05/06/2010 4:06:32 PM PDT by packrat35 (Planned Parenthood - Keeping healthcare costs down, one fetus at a time)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

Don’t be so quick to judge. From Wiki:

BTW, Field Commissions were common. That’s how Audie Murphy became an officer.

WIKI> Van T. Barfoot (born June 15, 1919) is a retired United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his actions in World War II.

Contents [hide]
1 Biography
2 Medal of Honor citation
3 Flag controversy
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

[edit] Biography
Barfoot was born on June 15, 1919, in Edinburg, Mississippi.[3] His grandmother was Choctaw, but Barfoot himself is not an official member of the Choctaw Nation. Although he was eligible, his parents had never enrolled him.[4]

After enlisting in the Army from Carthage, Mississippi, in 1940 and completing his training, Barfoot served with the 1st Infantry Division in Louisiana and Puerto Rico. In December 1941, he was promoted to sergeant and re-assigned to the Headquarters Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet in Quantico, Virginia, where he served until the unit was deactivated in 1943. He next joined the 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, and was shipped to Europe.[4]

During the Italian Campaign, Barfoot participated in a series of amphibious landings: the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno in September, and finally the landings at Anzio in late January 1944. His unit pushed inland from Anzio, and by May 1944 had reached the town of Carano. They set up defensive positions and Barfoot conducted patrols to scout the German lines. When his company was ordered to attack on the morning of May 23, Barfoot, now a technical sergeant, asked for permission to lead a squad. Because of the patrols he had made, he knew the terrain and the minefield which lay in front of the German position. He advanced alone through the minefield, following ditches and depressions, until he came within a few yards of a machine gun on the German flank. After taking out the gun with a hand grenade, he entered the German trench and advanced on a second machine gun, killing two soldiers and capturing three others. When he reached a third gun, the entire crew surrendered to him. Others also surrendered and Barfoot captured a total of seventeen German soldiers. He had killed 8.[4]

When the Germans launched an armored counterattack later in the day, Barfoot disabled one tank with a bazooka, then advanced into enemy-held territory and destroyed an abandoned German artillery piece. He returned to his own lines and helped two wounded soldiers from his squad to the rear.[4]

Barfoot was subsequently commissioned as a second lieutenant. His division moved into France and by September was serving in the Rhone valley. Barfoot learned he would be awarded the Medal of Honor and chose to have the presentation ceremony in the field, so that his soldiers could attend. He was formally presented with the medal on September 28, 1944, in Épinal, France, by Lieutenant General Alexander Patch.[4]

Barfoot is one of the country’s last living World War II veterans who received the Medal of Honor. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. He reached the rank of colonel before retiring from the Army.[5] He currently lives in Henrico County, Virginia, near his daughter. On October 9, 2009, the portion of Mississippi Highway 16 which runs from Carthage through his hometown of Edinburg to the border between Leake and Neshoba counties was named the “Van T. Barfoot Medal Of Honor Highway”.[6]

[edit] Medal of Honor citation
Second Lieutenant Barfoot’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.[7]

[edit] Flag controversy
In December 2009, the homeowners’ association (HOA) of the Sussex Square, where Barfoot lives in Henrico County, Virginia, ordered him to remove the flagpole from which he flies the American flag. This news story first became public when Barfoot’s son-in-law reported the story on local talk radio show, Elliot in the Morning. The news story was soon picked up by Fox News and followed by several other national news networks. The HOA retained Coates & Davenport to help enforce their order.[8] The association’s bylaws do not forbid flagpoles, but the HOA ruled Barfoot, aged 90, would not be allowed to use it “for aesthetic reasons.” Barfoot contested the order,[9][10] and received support from politicians such as Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, as well as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.[11] Barfoot won when the association dropped its request on December 8, 2009, effectively ending the controversy.


22 posted on 05/06/2010 4:43:58 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Prezdet Obama is what you get when you let the O.J. jury select a president !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: packrat35
A lot of 20-25 year old punks have done that and more...on their X-Boxes. Kinda makes you wonder if our nation will ever have another generation like those that fought WW2 again, doesn't it?

Job well done, Col. Barfoot. Your nation doesn't deserve your service or your heroism.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

23 posted on 05/06/2010 4:49:36 PM PDT by wku man (Who says conservatives don't rock? Go to www.myspace.com/rockfromtheright)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: gunnut

My uncle spent 4 years in a Japanese prison camp. He was an enlisted sailor when captured. Was given a promotion to officer. And yes he made it out alive. He died about 5 years ago.


24 posted on 05/06/2010 4:55:22 PM PDT by greatgranny (It's not our job to judge terrorists, It's our job to set up the meeting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

It’s just a shame that we doubt stories like this but it is because the MSM have become such a joke. Reality is many times more evident that we read but it is hard to believe (sometimes just simply due to the heroics involved).

I can understand your skepticism here, especially if involved with relying on the media... but, here we surely should take it at face value and then research. This gentleman was an honest hero and actually seemed to be so just from his actions.

I assume that you are a youngster (compared to me anyway) but this kind of courage was common in both World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. It might seem unusual to you, but maybe that is a problem with history and the teaching of it.


25 posted on 05/06/2010 4:59:08 PM PDT by Deagle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian

Battle field commissions were common in WWII and Korea. Audy Murphy was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant from staff sergeant during WWII. Get a clue, this story is real and has been reported before.


26 posted on 05/06/2010 5:06:05 PM PDT by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket,

My associatian has the same rules and I proudly fly my flag.

Because he's a MOH recipient should not trump association bylaws especially when they DO accomodate the flying of the flag.......

Association rules and regulations are for everyone whether you like them or not. If you don't like them then you should not have purchased in that regulated community.......

With that being said, I wouldn't have said a word when his flag pole went up...........

27 posted on 05/06/2010 5:09:35 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Peanut butter was just peanut butter until I found Free Republic.........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

A Man among men.


28 posted on 05/06/2010 7:49:33 PM PDT by AlmaKing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hot Tabasco

HOA = Communism - at it’s purest level.


29 posted on 05/06/2010 7:54:23 PM PDT by AlmaKing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26

That citation reads like David’s early campaigns against the Philistines! Lt Barfoot is a mighty man of valor!


30 posted on 05/06/2010 7:57:21 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (Does not play well with others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson