Mann, Joe E, PFC

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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 745, HHC, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
Service Years
1942 - 1944

Private First Class

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines (ATWS Chief Admin) to remember Mann, Joe E, Pfc.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Place of burial
Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Spokane, Washington

Casualty Date
Sep 18, 1944
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
World War II
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2013, World War II Fallen [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Basic Training (Camp Toccoa, GA), G/2
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
  1943-1943, 745, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry
  1943-1944, 745, HHC, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Mann was born July 8, 1922, in Reardan, Wash., and gave his life on Sept. 19, 1944, in Best, Holland.

He entered the U.S. Army, Company H, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles), achieving the rank of Private First Class after graduating from Reardan High School in 1942.

Operation MARKET-GARDEN began in September 1944 during the Allied thrust in northern Europe. Operation MARKET was the airborne phase of the assault, with Operation GARDEN being the ground attack.

The goal was to cross the Rhine river and breach the German West Wall defenses. The Dutch countryside, crisscrossed by dikes, drainage ditches, rivers and canals, would prove difficult to traverse if the ground troops could not advance by road.

For the plan to be a success, the paratroopers had to keep the roadway and the bridges along the route intact and secure.

The planes carrying the 101st encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire as they approached their targets, but the pilots were able to deliver the paratroopers to the correct drop zones.

The 502nd’s mission was to guard regimental drop zones and to capture the road bridge over the company to the south of Best to capture the bridges that crossed the Wilhelmina Canal.

The 502nd completed its assignment of securing St. Oedenrode and the bridge over the Dommel River. In the days following the link between the airborne and ground forces the 101st, now in defensive positions, faced enemy counterattacks as the Germans attempted to cut the road and stop the Allied forces flow to the north.

Pfc. Mann, in Best, Holland, single-handedly destroyed an enemy emplacement and continued to fire on the enemy from an exposed position until being wounded.

Despite his wounds, he insisted on serving guard duty during the night. The next morning, during an enemy attach, Pfc. Mann smothered the blast of a hand grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him.


Mann, aged 22 at his death, was buried in Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Spokane, Washington.

His citation reads:
He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. On 18 September 1944, in the vicinity of Best, Holland, his platoon, attempting to seize the bridge across the Wilhelmina Canal, was surrounded and isolated by an enemy force greatly superior in personnel and firepower. Acting as lead scout, Pfc. Mann boldly crept to within rocket-launcher range of an enemy artillery position and, in the face of heavy enemy fire, destroyed an 88mm. gun and an ammunition dump. Completely disregarding the great danger involved, he remained in his exposed position, and, with his M-1 rifle, killed the enemy one by one until he was wounded 4 times. Taken to a covered position, he insisted on returning to a forward position to stand guard during the night. On the following morning the enemy launched a concerted attack and advanced to within a few yards of the position, throwing hand grenades as they approached. One of these landed within a few feet of Pfc. Mann. Unable to raise his arms, which were bandaged to his body, he yelled "grenade" and threw his body over the grenade, and as it exploded, died. His outstanding gallantry above and beyond the call of duty and his magnificent conduct were an everlasting inspiration to his comrades for whom he gave his life.
As far as I know, he's the only 101st trooper to be awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor in WWII.

He was also awarded a Bronze Star and 5 Purple Hearts.

Joe is buried here in Spokane. A couple of years ago a monument was erected next to his gravesite. There are several monuments in his honor around Best, Holland, where there is also a park that bears his name.
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