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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:37 PM

Obituaries: Robert Maxwell, Medal of Honor recipient who fell on grenade to save lives, dies at 98

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Obituaries
Robert Maxwell, Medal of Honor recipient who fell on grenade to save lives, dies at 98

By Harrison Smith, Obituary writer
May 14 at 8:51 PM

He heard the hand grenade well before he saw it. And as the seconds ticked away and Robert D. Maxwell searched blindly through the darkness, he decided that the only thing worse than running away was picking up the explosive device and attempting to throw it back at the enemy — an act that risked killing the three soldiers crouched alongside him.

When he finally found the grenade, lying on the cement courtyard outside his battalion’s embattled observation post in eastern France, he did the only thing that made sense. Clutching a blanket to his chest, he dropped on top of the device, absorbing the full force of its explosion and saving the lives of his comrades.

“It’s not the case that I was brave or a hero or anything like that,” Mr. Maxwell, an Army technician fifth grade during World War II, said years later. “Because I just did what the only alternative was at the time. There was nothing else to do.”

For his actions early that morning on Sept. 7, 1944, Mr. Maxwell was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration for valor. He was 98, and the oldest surviving Medal of Honor recipient, when he died May 11 in Bend, Ore., leaving only three surviving recipients from World War II. ... His death was announced by the Medal of Honor Society, which did not say precisely where or how he died.
....

Harrison Smith is a reporter on The Washington Post's obituaries desk. Since joining the obituaries section in 2015, he has profiled big-game hunters, fallen dictators and Olympic champions. He sometimes covers the living as well, and previously co-founded the South Side Weekly, a community newspaper in Chicago. Follow https://twitter.com/harrisondsmith

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Reply Obituaries: Robert Maxwell, Medal of Honor recipient who fell on grenade to save lives, dies at 98 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 15 OP
underpants May 15 #1
mahatmakanejeeves May 15 #2
pansypoo53219 May 15 #3
juxtaposed May 15 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 03:49 PM

1. How did he survive? I need to read the article.

Last edited Wed May 15, 2019, 04:24 PM - Edit history (1)

From my Army training I know that mines are not really meant to kill. Injuring a soldier takes 3-4 out of the battle caring for him. I thought grenades were mostly meant for killing. Like I said I need to read the article.

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Response to underpants (Reply #1)

Wed May 15, 2019, 03:50 PM

2. Since he died in Bend, Oregon, the story is probably also at OregonLive. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 05:33 PM

3. that is a testament to army blankets. what wool can do.

i think our cottage had a bunch of them. also used black out shades on the doors. the cottage was stained black.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:02 PM

4. A quaker to boot!

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