PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Private First Class Richard E. Kraus, USMCR, (1925-1944)

Richard Edward Kraus was born on 24 November 1925 in Chicago, Illinois. He later moved with his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from Edison High School there. In November 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from that state. After completing recruit training, he was ordered to the Pacific war zone, where he served with the Eighth Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, during the Palaus campaign.

Attempting to evacuate a wounded Marine from the front lines on Peleliu, Palau Islands on 3 October 1944, Kraus and his party had to turn back due to enemy fire. They encountered two Japanese soldiers, one of whom threw a hand grenade at the Americans. Hurling himself upon it, Kraus absorbed the blast, sacrificing his life to save his comrades. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Richard E. Kraus is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at St. Paul, Minnesota.

USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849/AG-151), (1946-1976), was named in honor of Private First Class Richard E. Kraus.

This page features the only image we have concerning Richard E. Kraus.


Photo #: NH 106303

Private First Class Richard E. Kraus, USMCR


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 215.
Richard E. Kraus was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving with the Eighth Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force in action against the Japanese on Peleliu, Palau Islands on 3 October 1944.


U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 61KB; 580 x 765 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Private First Class Richard E. Kraus, USMC (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 215):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Eighth Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands, on 3 October 1944. Unhesitatingly volunteering for the extremely hazardous mission of evacuating a wounded comrade from the front lines, Private First Class Kraus and three companions courageously made their way forward and succesfully penetrated the lines for some distance before the enemy opened with an intense, devastating barrage of hand grenades which forced the stretcher party to take cover and subsequently abandon the mission. While returning to the rear, they observed two men approaching who appeared to be Marines and immediately demanded the password. When, instead of answering, one of the two Japanese threw a hand grenade into the midst of the group, Private First Class Kraus heroically flung himself upon the grenade and, covering it with his body, absorbed the full impact of the explosion and was instantly killed. By his prompt action and great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of his three companions, and his loyal spirit of self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades."



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





About Us | Privacy Policy | Webmaster | FOIA request | Navy.mil | This is a US Navy website