Biddle, Melvin Earl, PFC

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
745-Rifleman
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1946, 745, B Company, 1st Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1943 - 1945

Private First Class


One Service Stripe



Three Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Indiana
Indiana
Year of Birth
1923
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Biddle, Melvin Earl (Bud (MOH)), Pfc.

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
Daleville
Last Address
Anderson, IN

Date of Passing
Dec 17, 2010
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

18th Airborne Corps Infantry Shoulder Cord Honorably Discharged WW II French Fourragere




 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

PFC Melvin Earl “Bud” Biddle


World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during World War I as a Private in Company B of the 1st Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment. On December 23-24, 1944, near Soy, Belgium, he reconnoitered the German lines alone, killed three enemy snipers, and silenced four hostile machine gun emplacements. When rumor spread that he was to be decorated for his actions, Biddle approached his company commander to protest, but was quickly dismissed. Biddle was seriously wounded a few days later by German artillery. For his actions during the battle near Soy, Biddle was awarded the Medal of Honor in ceremonies at the White House on October 30, 1945, by President Harry Truman. He traveled by train from Anderson to Washington, D.C.; while enroute he was promoted to the rank of corporal. When presenting the medal to him, President Truman whispered "People don't believe me when I tell them that I'd rather have one of these than be President." He was also awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge. Biddle worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for many years. He passed away at Saint John's Medical Center in Anderson, Indiana.


   
Other Comments:
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WWII - European Theater of Operations/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
From Month/Year
December / 1944
To Month/Year
January / 1945

Description
The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. Hitler planned the offensive with the primary goal to recapture the important harbour of Antwerp. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred the highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany's war-making resources.

The battle was known by different names. The Germans referred to it as Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein ("Operation Watch on the Rhine"), while the French named it the Bataille des Ardennes ("Battle of the Ardennes"). The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. The phrase "Battle of the Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps and became the best known name for the battle.

The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. As well as stopping Allied transport over the channel to the harbor of Antwerp, Germany also hoped these operations would split the British and American Allied line in half, and then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor. Once that was accomplished, Hitler could fully concentrate on the eastern theatre of war.

The offensive was planned by the German forces with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Despite their efforts to keep it secret, the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, and Ultra indicated that a "substantial and offensive" operation was expected or "in the wind", although a precise date or point of attack could not be given. Aircraft movement from the Russian Front and transport of forces by rail, both to the Ardennes, was noticed but not acted upon, according to a report later written by Peter Calvocoressi and F. L. Lucas at the codebreaking centre Bletchley Park.

Near-complete surprise was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance. The Germans attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions, which grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive around Elsenborn Ridge and in the south around Bastogne blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success; columns that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This and terrain that favored the defenders threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, which sealed the failure of the offensive. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line.

About 610,000 American forces were involved in the battle,[2] and 89,000 were casualties, including 19,000 killed. It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
December / 1944
To Month/Year
January / 1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

644th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  377 Also There at This Battle:
  • Accattato, Rocco, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Adams, Herbert, Pvt, (1941-1945)
  • Arther, Edward, PFC, (1944-1945)
  • Bahlau, Frederick Arthur, 1LT, (1942-1945)
  • Battaglia, John, Pvt, (1942-1945)
  • Beck, Carl, M/Sgt, (1942-1963)
  • Belan, Elmer, T/5, (1943-1948)
  • Berg, Cletus, Pvt, (1944-1945)
  • Bizefski, Joseph Paul, Pvt, (1943-1944)
  • Boehme, Karen
  • Bolio, Robert, Cpl, (1943-1945)
  • Bouck, Lyle Joseph, 1LT, (1940-1945)
  • Bray, Ralph, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Brenzel, Frank, T/4, (1944-1946)
  • Burch, Gilbert, T/5, (1944-1946)
  • Burford, Chris
  • Burns, Henry, PFC, (1941-1944)
  • Bush, William Douglas, 1LT, (1942-1951)
  • Carey, Aaron, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Carlson, Martin, T/5, (1943-1944)
  • Carmer, Richard, T/Sgt, (1943-1946)
  • Carpenter, Archie Eldon, COL, (1943-1973)
  • Chase, George, Sgt, (1943-1945)
  • Clemente, Frank, MAJ, (1942-1945)
  • Cole, Chauncey David, LTC, (1938-1960)
  • Consiglio, Vincent J., S/Sgt, (1941-1945)
  • Costanzo, Anthony, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Dallas, Frank J., LTC, (1942-1970)
  • Davol, Rupert
  • Deitz, Wallace, MSG, (1944-1968)
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