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Junior James Spurrier, born James I. Spurrier, Jr., was a United States Army soldier who received America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
James I. Spurrier, Jr. was born in Castlewood, Virginia. In September 1940, he enlisted in the Army. James filled his name in the wrong blanks, so he became "Junior J. Spurrier" to the Army. Near Lay St. Christopher, France, he earned the Distinguished Service Cross. He had spearheaded an assault on a stubbornly defended hill position. On a tank destroyer, he used a .50-caliber machine gun to kill over 12 Germans and captured 22 others. He climbed down to personally blow up bunkers with rifle fire and grenades.
On November 13, 1944, while serving as a Staff Sergeant with Company G, 134th Infantry, 35th Infantry Division, Spurrier fought Germans in Achain, Moselle, France. Repeatedly, Spurrier wandered into the command post with prisoners, replenished his ammo, then slipped out the door. Junior J. Spurrier earned the Medal of Honor for nearly single-handedly capturing the village of Achain that day. He received the Medal of Honor on March 6, 1945 from Lt. Gen. William Hood Simpson.
He is buried in Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City, Tennessee.
N 36° 18.661 W 082° 22.613 17S E 376390 N 4019325
Spurrier was known as the “One Man Army” and the “Sgt. York of World War II,” for his valor in combat in Europe. He received both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor among several medals. Tony Whitlow president of the museum board of directors called Spurrier, “a super hero whose exploits have no equal.”
“Audie Murphy received one more medal than Junior did,” it was the Good Conduct Medal.”
Remarks made by Spurrier’s commanding officers who characterized his composure under fire, his intelligence and the fact that he was the “meanest, toughest and orneriest soldier” in the war.