Banner ad: Harold D. Carr
Watch video: Harold D. CarrSide ad: Olympic Game FarmSide ad: Car Star - Hi TechSide ad: The Vaporium

The Hero of Cologne receives his Bronze Star 75 years late

The Hero of Cologne receives his Bronze Star 75 years late
WASHINGTON — When 96-year-old Clarence Smoyer came to Washington Wednesday, he thought he was heading to the Pentagon to sign copies of “Spearhead,” a recent book detailing his exploits as a World War II tank gunner.
Enlarge

World War II veteran Clarence Smoyer, 96, sits before receiving the Bronze Star at the World War II Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Enlarge

World War II veterans Joseph Caserta, left, and Clarence Smoyer, 96, embrace before a ceremony to present the Bronze Star to Smoyer at the World War II Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Enlarge

World War II veteran Clarence Smoyer, 96, poses for a picture in front of a Sherman tank after receiving the Bronze Star, near the World War II Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Instead, he found a full Army color guard and ceremony awarding him a Bronze Star, almost 75 years after the battle that made him a hero.

Smoyer, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was part of a famous March 6, 1945, duel in Cologne, Germany, where his Pershing tank destroyed a German Panther tank. The battle was captured on film and Smoyer became known as the “Hero of Cologne.”

Smoyer was told he would receive the Bronze Star, but a few days later he ran afoul of a minor disciplinary issue that cost him his medal. A military police officer saw him searching his pockets for bubble gum to give to a crowd of German children and charged him with fraternization with the enemy. Meanwhile, Smoyer’s tank commander and the military cameraman who filmed the battle received Bronze Stars of their own.

Smoyer’s story was detailed in “Spearhead” by author Adam Makos , and it was Makos who helped engineer Wednesday’s events. He helped convince the Army to reverse what he saw as an injustice. And he brought Smoyer to Washington on the pretense of a book-signing at the Pentagon.

As he stepped out of the car and saw the crowds gathered at Washington’s World War II Memorial, Smoyer smiled broadly and asked, “Am I getting a Bronze Star?”

The ceremony featured an actual Sherman tank, several of Smoyer’s old World War II comrades and a speech by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey.

 

 

 

 


https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/09/19/the-hero-of-cologne-receives-his-bronze-star-75-years-late/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Good%20News%20Report%2009.20.19&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Good%20News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Top

Logo: WA Military Resource Guide
This is an unofficial website that includes the listing of telephone numbers of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard commands in the state of Washington. It is published by West Coast Publishing, a firm in no way connected with the Department of Defense, the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard. The appearance of advertisements on this website does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Defense or the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps or Coast Guard of products or services advertised. All products and services advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user or patron.