Our "Medal of Honor" series explores the stories behind the courageous Pennsylvanian veterans who have been awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for their exemplary service in the United States military. In this entry, we recognize the achievements of Ellis R. Weicht, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 19, 1945.
Ellis R. Weicht joined the Army from Bedford, Pennsylvania in February 1942, and by December 3, 1944 was serving as a Sergeant in Company F, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. On that day, during fighting in Saint-Hippolyte, France, he single-handedly attacked two hostile gun emplacements before being killed while attacking an enemy roadblock. For his actions during the battle, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor seven months later, on July 19, 1945.
Sgt. Weicht commanded an assault squad in Company F's attack against the strategically important Alsatian town of St. Hippolyte on 3 December 1944. He aggressively led his men down a winding street, clearing the houses of opposition as he advanced. Upon rounding a bend, the group was suddenly brought under the fire of two machine guns emplaced in the door and window of a house 100 yards distant. While his squad members took cover, Sgt. Weicht moved rapidly forward to a high rock wall and, fearlessly exposing himself to the enemy action, fired two clips of ammunition from his rifle. His fire proving ineffective, he entered a house opposite the enemy gun position, and, firing from a window, killed the two hostile gunners. Continuing the attack, the advance was again halted when two 20-mm guns opened fire on the company. An artillery observer ordered friendly troops to evacuate the area and then directed artillery fire upon the gun positions. Sgt. Weicht remained in the shelled area and continued to fire on the hostile weapons. When the barrage lifted and the enemy soldiers attempted to remove their gun, he killed two crewmembers and forced the others to flee. Sgt. Weicht continued to lead his squad forward until he spotted a roadblock approximate 125 yards away. Moving to the second floor of a nearby house and firing from a window, he killed three and wounded several of the enemy. Instantly becoming a target for heavy and direct fire, he disregarded personal safety to continue his fire, with unusual effectiveness, until he was killed by a direct hit from an antitank gun.
Weicht was buried at the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in Épinal, France.