Walter Ehlers was born in Junction City, Kansas on May 7, 1921. He also received a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.

Editor’s Note:  Voice of OC is honoring some of Orange County’s most notable veterans with profiles. We thank these people, other veterans and those serving today for their dedication and service to our country.

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by

Act of Congress, 3 March 1863, has awarded the Medal of Honor to

 Staff Sergeant Walter D. Ehlers

United States Army


Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 9–10 June 1944, near Goville, France. SSgt Walter Ehlers, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended positions exposing himself to deadly fire whenever the situation required courageous leadership.

SSgt. Ehlers scouting ahead of his men, led his squad against a strong enemy position, personally killing four of an enemy patrol who attacked him in route. Crawling forward under heavy small arms fire, SSgt. Ehlers destroyed a machine gun position single-handedly. SSgt. Ehlers then while leading his platoon knocked out a mortar and two machine gun positions.

The next day, SSgt. Ehlers squad was an element of a platoon found itself in an untenable position and was ordered to withdraw. After his squad covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, SSgt. Ehlers stood up and by constant fire diverted the bulk of the enemy fire upon himself, permitting the rest of his quad to retire.  Although he was wounded, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned to retrieve the automatic rifle. After having his wounds treated, he refused to be evacuated and returned to lead his squad.

The intrepid leadership, courage, and fearlessness, displayed by SSgt. Ehlers serve as an inspiration to others.

Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS


More about Walter D. Ehlers:

Notable Orange County Veterans:

1st Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh, Medal of Honor: World War II Fighter Ace

Captain Nelson M. Holderman, Medal of Honor:  World War I Hero

Captain William E. Barber, Medal of Honor: Fought at Iwo Jima

Corporal Tibor Rubin, Medal of Honor: Korean War – 1st Cavalry Division

Lance Corporal Kenneth L. Worley, Medal of Honor: Gave His Life for his Country

Lieutenant (J. G.) Donald A. Gary, Medal of Honor: Officer on The USS Franklin in Japan

Master-At-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, Medal of Honor: Navy Seal Dies While Saving His Comrades

PFC Clarence B. Craft, Medal of Honor: Hastened the End of the Campaign on Okinawa

Sergeant Chris Carr, Medal of Honor: WWII Hero Battled in Italy

Specialist Fourth Class John P. Baca, Medal of Honor: Vietnam Vet Protects His Troops

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