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."
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