In step with our support of National Military Appreciation Month, we're taking a moment with each Gift Shop Bundle to honor the memory of one Medal of Honor recipient. This time we're providing a very brief account of a heroic tanker, James Harris. If you have any other stories, or have more information you'd like to share about this particular story, please feel free to share it in the forum thread!
Bundles Begin: 23:00 PDT (02:00 EDT the following day) on May 16, 2013
Bundles End: 23:00 PDT (02:00 EDT the following day) on May 19, 2013
Wondering what time this starts in your neck of the woods? Use this handy Time Zone Conversion tool.
We often think of the job of World War II Tank Commander as a safer one than that of a regular infantryman. After all, they had several inches of steel and a big gun between them and the enemy. In truth, tanks were high priority targets, and being a tank commander was, and is, a very dangerous occupation.
If commanders stayed "buttoned up," observing the battle solely through the limited view of the commander’s cupola, they risked missing imminent dangers such as ambushes or traps because of their limited visibility. Many commanders put themselves at risk and rode with their head out of the commander’s hatch, spotting dangers to their tank and crew that they would have missed by relying on the periscopes.
Second Lieutenant James Lindell Harris of the 756th Tank Battalion was one of these brave commanders. Born in Hillsbro, Texas in 1916, he was drafted into the United States Army, and received a battlefield commission in 1944, an excellent indication of his leadership skills. He went above and beyond the call of duty on October 7, 1944, near Vagney, France, when an enemy raiding party of a tank and two platoons of infantry snuck through American lines and attacked an infantry command post before retreating to an ambush position.
Smelling a trap, but unwilling to order his men to go where he wasn’t willing to, Harris demounted his M-4 Sherman, ordered it to halt, and proceeded on foot ahead of a six-man patrol armed only with his service pistol.
A hidden machine gun opened fire, struck Harris in the solar plexus, and he fell wounded to the ground. Mortally wounded, he crawled back to his tank, but was too weak to climb back inside the turret. Instead, he lay on the road between the two German and American vehicles as they exchanged fire, shouting fire orders until his tank was destroyed.
Luckily, they had bought enough time for more friendly tanks to come to their aid and drive off the Germans, saving the command post. In the process, Harris was wounded again, losing a leg, and refused aid and evacuation until a member of his crew was treated first. He died of his wounds before he could be helped, and was decorated with the Medal of Honor posthumously on April 23, 1945. Harris is buried in Hillsboro, Texas.
Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Harris, James L.”: http://www.756tank.com/MOHharris.htm (accessed May 15, 2013).
The 756th Tank Battalion. "Medal of Honor Citation for 2nd Lt. James "Red"L. Harris": http://www.756tank.com/MOHharris.htm (accessed May 15, 2013).
Find A Grave. "James Harris": http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=18068 (accessed May 15, 2013).
Just like it sounds, quick and cash filled for an easy boost to your operational funds. Use it to buy that new tank you've had your eye on, transfer a crew, or even just marvel at all the zeroes that crop up in your garage space once you click the purchase button.
You've got how many tanking problems? If you pick up this Big Bucks Bundle while the offer lasts, credits and gold wont be one. With all of the sales going on during our Rapid Fire Weekend, you're sure to walk away with some shiny new toys!
Buy them for yourself or for all your tanking buddies, but either way 10% of every purchase will go to the veterans charities mentioned above for the entire month of May! These bundles will be available from 23:00 PDT April 30, 2013 until 23:00 PDT May 31, 2013.
T34 Bundle for $115.99
Gold & Credit Bundle for $23.39