Sergeant Steve J. Puhalla

Company C, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division
Killed in action 28 February 1945
Ronco, Pennsylvania





For extraordinary heroism in action on 28 February 1945, near Konigshoven Germany. When his company was pinned down by heavy machine gun fire from an enemy strongpoint, Sergeant Puhalla courageously led his squad forward to take the position by assault. Fifty yards from the objective he was wounded three times in the abdomen from a machine gun burst. Despite his painful wounds, Sergeant Puhalla gallantly struggled to his feet and emptied his weapon on the enemy emplacement. Upon reaching the objective, he was killed instantly by automatic fire. Sergeant Puhalla's courageous self-sacrifice reflects great credit upon himself and the fighting infantry.
General Order #574, Hq. 7th Army, 4 Oct. 1945


For gallantry in action on 15 November 1944, in Germany. Three enemy tanks, supported by fire from enemy infantrymen, launched a counterattack against positions held by Sergeant Puhalla's unit. Acting coolly and courageously in this hazardous situation, Sergeant Puhalla climbed to the upper story of a building and, while heavy small arms fire struck all around him fired mortar shells from a grenade launcher at the tanks, Two of his shells scored direct hits on the tanks, which wavered under his fire and rocket fire from another direction, and consequently withdrew. Sergeant Puhalla's gallant actions reflect high credit upon himself and the Armed Forces.





For meritorious achievement and service from 14 June 1944 to 23 November 1944, in ***. Sergeant Puhalla distinguished himself by outstanding performance of duty as a squad leader during a difficult period of military operations. His soldierly attributes and demonstrated fortitude in the face of handicaps have been decided factors in successfully accomplishing in a superior manner all tasks assigned to him. His coolness under fire, devotion to duty and loyalty to his leaders have contributed to the combat achievements of his unit and are worthy of emulation by his associates.



Near WEST WURSELEN, Germany on 15 November 1944, Sergeant Puhalla, an assistant squad leader, distinguished himself by gallant action. When enemy tanks supported by infantry twenty yards away started to move into his platoon area following a heavy concentration of mortar and artillery fire, Sergeant PUHALLA, at the risk of his life, climbed to a rooftop in full observation of hostile forces to engage enemy tanks with a grenade launcher. He scored direct hits on the German tanks and by his success encouraged a greater volume of friendly fire which was instrumental in the defeat of the enemy attack




Sgt. Puhalla's first award of the Purple Heart, along with his copy of the hospital General Order awarding him the medal



Sergeant Puhalla's posthumously awarded Purple Heart



Telegram sent to Puhalla's mother, informing her of his death


Newspaper clipping describing Puhalla's death


Notice of disinterment for final burial

Notice of final internment at the US Cemetery in Margraten, Holland

Henry Stimson condolence letter