Kelly, Charles E., T/Sgt

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Last Rank
Technical Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 745, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
Service Years
1942 - 1945

Technical Sergeant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Jerrie Kelly-Stanghellini-Family to remember Kelly, Charles E., T/Sgt.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jan 11, 1985
Location of Interment
Mount Moriah Soldier's Lot - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Medal of Honor Recipients
  1945, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
TSgt. Kelly enlisted in the Army in May 1942.  He initially served as a private in Company L, 143d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division, US Army during the invasion of Italy at Salerno. It was here that he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the first enlisted recipient in the ETO.

He fought at Salerno, San Pietro, Monte Cassino. He was promoted to corporal following the battle at Altavilla.  Then, his unit moved on to San Pietro and the crossing of the Rapido River where he was promoted to sergeant in January 1944.

After receiving the Medal in March 1944, Kelly toured the country with a group of other infantrymen as part of the Army Ground Forces' "Here's Your Infantry," demonstrating various battle techniques and selling war bonds. When the tour ended, Kelly was assigned to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Kelly received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1945, and the rank of technical sergeant.

TSgt. Kelly was interred in Highwood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The Charles E. Kelly Support Facility (CEKSF), Oakdale, Pennsylvania was named in his honor.

He was known as "Commando Kelly". Details of his life after the War may be found in the notes/links section references.

Other Comments:
Medal of Honor

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal Charles E. Kelly, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company L, 3d Battalion, 143d Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division.

On 13 September 1943, near Altavilla, Italy, Corporal Kelly voluntarily joined a patrol which located and neutralized enemy machinegun positions. After this hazardous duty he volunteered to establish contact with a battalion of U.S. infantry which was believed to be located on Hill 315, a mile distant. He traveled over a route commanded by enemy observation and under sniper, mortar, and artillery fire; and later he returned with the correct information that the enemy occupied Hill 315 in organized positions.

Immediately thereafter Corporal Kelly, again a volunteer patrol member, assisted materially in the destruction of two enemy machinegun nests under conditions requiring great skill and courage. Having effectively fired his weapon until all the ammunition was exhausted, he secured permission to obtain more at an ammunition dump. Arriving at the dump, which was located near a storehouse on the extreme flank of his regiment's position, Corporal Kelly found that the Germans were attacking ferociously at this point. He obtained his ammunition and was given the mission of protecting the rear of the storehouse. He held his position throughout the night.

The following morning the enemy attack was resumed. Corporal Kelly took a position at an open window of the storehouse. One machine gunner had been killed at this position and several other soldiers wounded. Corporal Kelly delivered continuous aimed and effective fire upon the enemy with his automatic rifle until the weapon locked from overheating. Finding another automatic rifle, he again directed effective fire upon the enemy until this weapon also locked.

At this critical point, with the enemy threatening to overrun the position, Corporal Kelly picked up 60-mm. mortar shells, pulled the safety pins, and used the shells as grenades, killing at least five of the enemy. When it became imperative that the house be evacuated, Corporal Kelly, despite his sergeant's injunctions, volunteered to hold the position until the remainder of the detachment could withdraw. As the detachment moved out, Corporal Kelly was observed deliberately loading and firing a rocket launcher from the window. He was successful in covering the withdrawal of the unit, and later in joining his own organization.

Corporal Kelly's fighting determination and intrepidity in battle exemplify the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 13 (February 18, 1944)
Action Date: 13-Sep-43
Service: Army
Rank: Corporal
Company: Company L
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 143d Infantry Regiment
Division: 36th Infantry Division

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Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
143rd Infantry Regiment 36th Infantry DivisionInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1943-1944, 745, 143rd Infantry Regiment
  1943-1944, 745, 36th Infantry Division
  1945-1945, 745, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II
  1943-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Naples-Foggia Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)
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