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Edward J. Moskala
Born (1921-11-06)November 6, 1921
Died April 9, 1945(1945-04-09) (aged 23)
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois
Place of death Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa Island
Place of burial Rock Island National Cemetery
Rock Island, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Private First Class
Unit 383rd Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Medal of Honor

Edward J. Moskala (November 6, 1921 – April 9, 1945) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

Moskala joined the Army from his birth city of Chicago, Illinois, and by April 9, 1945 was serving as a private first class in Company C, 383rd Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division. On that day, at Kakazu Ridge on Okinawa Island, he destroyed two enemy machine gun positions before volunarily staying behind to cover his unit's withdrawal. He later helped rescue wounded men who had been left behind and was killed while aiding another wounded comrade. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on February 26, 1946.

Moskala, aged 23 at his death, was buried in Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Illinois.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Private First Class Moskala's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

He was the leading element when grenade explosions and concentrated machinegun and mortar fire halted the unit's attack on Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he charged 40 yards through withering, grazing fire and wiped out 2 machinegun nests with well-aimed grenades and deadly accurate fire from his automatic rifle. When strong counterattacks and fierce enemy resistance from other positions forced his company to withdraw, he voluntarily remained behind with 8 others to cover the maneuver. Fighting from a critically dangerous position for 3 hours, he killed more than 25 Japanese before following his surviving companions through screening smoke down the face of the ridge to a gorge where it was discovered that one of the group had been left behind, wounded. Unhesitatingly, Pvt. Moskala climbed the bullet-swept slope to assist in the rescue, and, returning to lower ground, volunteered to protect other wounded while the bulk of the troops quickly took up more favorable positions. He had saved another casualty and killed 4 enemy infiltrators when he was struck and mortally wounded himself while aiding still another disabled soldier. With gallant initiative, unfaltering courage, and heroic determination to destroy the enemy, Pvt. Moskala gave his life in his complete devotion to his company's mission and his comrades' well-being. His intrepid conduct provided a lasting inspiration for those with whom he served.

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ReferencesEdit

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