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Francis X. McGraw
Born (1918-04-29)April 29, 1918
Died November 19, 1944(1944-11-19) (aged 26)
Place of birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place of death near Schevenhütte, Germany
Place of burial Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942 - 1944
Rank Private First Class
Unit 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

Francis Xavier McGraw [1] (April 29, 1918 – November 19, 1944) 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 Hurtgen Forest in World War II.

McGraw joined the Army from Camden, New Jersey, and by November 19, 1944 was serving as a private first class in Company H, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. At that time, the 26th Regiment was fighting in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, a grueling dense-forest offensive near the German-Belgian border. During a German counterattack on that day, near Schevenhütte, Germany, he manned his machine gun despite intense enemy fire and left cover in order to retrieve more ammunition. Although wounded, he continued to fire his machine gun until again running out of ammunition. He then engaged the German troops with a carbine, but was subsequently killed. For these gallant actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on October 25, 1945.

McGraw, aged 26 at his death, was buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. The McGraw Kaserne in Munich has been named after him.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

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

He manned a heavy machine gun in a foxhole near Schevenhutte, Germany, on 19 November 1944, when the enemy launched a fierce counterattack. Braving an intense hour-long preparatory barrage, he maintained his stand and poured deadly accurate fire into the advancing foot troops, until they faltered and came to a halt. The hostile forces brought up a machine gun in an effort to dislodge him but were frustrated when he lifted his gun to an exposed but advantageous position atop a log, courageously stood up in his foxhole and knocked out the enemy weapon. A rocket blasted his gun from position, but he retrieved it and continued firing. He silenced a second machine gun and then made repeated trips over fire-swept terrain to replenish his ammunition supply. Wounded painfully in this dangerous task, he disregarded his injury and hurried back to his post, where his weapon was showered with mud when another rocket barely missed him. In the midst of the battle, with enemy troops taking advantage of his predicament to press forward, he calmly cleaned his gun, put it back into action and drove off the attackers. He continued to fire until his ammunition was expended, when, with a fierce desire to close with the enemy, he picked up a carbine, killed 1 enemy soldier, wounded another and engaged in a desperate firefight with a third until he was mortally wounded by a burst from a machine pistol. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pvt. McGraw inspired his comrades to great efforts and was a major factor in repulsing the enemy attack.[2]

Honored in ship namingEdit

The United States Army ship USAT Private Francis X. McGraw which served from 1946 to 1950 was named in his honor.

See alsoEdit

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External linksEdit

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