Medal of Honor recipient Vernon McGarity dies at 91

World War II Army veteran honored in 1945

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Former World War II Army squad leader and Medal of Honor recipient Vernon McGarity has died at the age of 91.

Taylor Loeffel, a spokeswoman for Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, says McGarity died of cancer Tuesday night in Memphis.

President Harry Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to McGarity in October 1945. 

According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, McGarity was wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded a German counter-offensive near Krinkelt, Belgium, in December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. McGarity received treatment but refused to be evacuated and returned to battle.

McGarity rescued two wounded soldiers, immobilized a tank, replenished ammunition under heavy fire and destroyed a German machine gun. That allowed reserves to assemble and form a line against the Germans. 

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