On January 6, 1945, U.S. Army Pvt. Horace Appleby sprinted into enemy fire to save a fellow soldier.
Now, seven decades later, the veteran has been awarded with the dozen medals he earned that day on the European battlefield.
Appleby, now 101 years old, didn’t give much thought to his courageous act, believing he merely acted according to his duties as a soldier.
However, his great niece, Renee Hahn, became interested in the story. Upon further research, she discovered the documents that proved beyond a doubt that her uncle was a hero.
Hahn stated, “He’s the family treasure. You better believe it.”
Hahn’s work soon caught the attention of Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, who presented Appleby with the medals he deserved. These medals include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button and the Marksman Badge with rifle bar.
Appleby has clearly recounted his memories of the incident and the rest of his time as a member of Company E, 180th Infantry Regiment. The unit, deployed in Europe, was dug in and under fire for 22 months before they were forced to withdraw. The men in the unit soon realized that one of their members was missing, and Appleby went back to rescue the soldier.
“I didn’t think much about it. I did what I had to do,” said Appleby.
When Appleby was presented with the medals, he simply smiled as he stated, “I didn’t know I had that.”