(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: First Sergeant James D. Underwood, United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company E, 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces near Malabon, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 11 February 1945. At daybreak, Company E, 145th Infantry, prepared to make an assault crossing of the Dampalit River east of Malabon to seize a strategic crossroads. The enemy, 500 in number, delivered intense mortar, small arms, and automatic weapons fire on our troops as they forced the crossing, causing such heavy casualties that a withdrawal was ordered. First Sergeant Underwood three volunteers in the evacuation of the casualties, all of whom were exposed to hostile fire. Using native dugouts and litters, he and his men made repeated trips under constant, intense fire from the enemy positions, wading through mud and water to load the wounded and dead on the dugouts, and then dragged and pushed them across the river through the deadly fire to safety. Working over a period of two and one half hours, First Sergeant Underwood eight times crossed the treacherous river and, by his complete disregard for safety and heroic determination in the face of grave danger, saved many lives and furnished a shining example of high courage. His intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 37th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Forces-Pacific, General Orders No. 162 (1945)
Action Date: 11-Feb-45
Rank: First Sergeant
Company: Company E
Regiment: 145th Infantry Regiment
Division: 37th Infantry Division Valor awards for James D. Underwood | Military Times Hall of Valor
Mr. James Underwood is a true American hero. He served with my Grand Uncle, Corporal, Paul Glasgo, (Assistant Squad Leader, 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squad, Co.E, 145th of the 37th I.D.) from Nashville, Ohio on Bougainville. Paul rotated home prior to The Manila / Fort Stotsenberg Operations but I am sure he learned of Jim's heroism and was fittingly proud of his valor.
I have had the good fortune to correspond with Mr. Underwood several times and will continue to listen in awe of this great man's achievements. He is truly an American to be treasured throughout the generations. I have Mr. Underwood's permission to post his letters here for your review and will do so after checking with the moderator of this forum. I was able to contact Mr. Underwood through the 37th I.D. Veterans Association (Thank you - Mandy!!) and I encourage others to contact similar organizations. Many of the Organizations have newsletters that will post private messages for you and this was most helpful in my research.
James has been interviewed for the Library of Congress Veterans Project and his recollections should be posted there sometime this summer. Another important act of World History will now be preserved for future generations.
Edited by rkline56, 31 January 2012 - 12:36 AM.