Kentuckian and World War II U.S. Army veteran First Lieutenant Garlin Murl Conner, of Clinton County, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The announcement comes today from President Donald Trump, who will host 1st Lt. Conner’s widow, Pauline Conner, at a White House ceremony.
First Lieutenant Conner had previously received four Silver Stars, one Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, and the EAME Campaign Medal with 7 Bronze Stars for his bravery in the European and Mediterranean theaters from 1943-1945.
“It is a proud day for all Kentuckians to see this prestigious recognition posthumously bestowed upon 1st Lt. Garlin Conner,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “His selfless actions during combat are deserving of this honor, which is reserved for extraordinary acts of valor and heroism. By all accounts, 1st Lt. Conner was a man of high integrity, and it is a credit to him, his family, his fellow service members, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to have this brave and selfless Kentuckian join the ranks of our nation’s greatest military veterans.”
On Jan. 24, 1945, 1st Lt. Conner helped to singlehandedly repel the advance of six German tanks and 600 German infantrymen near Houssen, France. He directed artillery fire on the attacking force for three hours from a precariously exposed position. As a result of his actions, 1st Lt. Conner prevented heavy casualties in his own battalion and helped to turn back the Nazi advance.
“It is with great pleasure that our Department learns that the late 1st Lt. Garlin Conner has been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Trump for 1st Lt. Conner’s heroism in World War II,” stated Ben Adams, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA). “It was a privilege for the KDVA to be a part of the effort to recognize this man with the nation’s highest award for valor in combat.”
A member of the 3rd Infantry Division, 7th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, K Company, 1st Lt. Conner passed away in 1998 at the age of 79. His family has worked with federal and state officials, veterans agencies and fellow service members for nearly two decades to advocate for this distinction.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the United States Armed Services. There are currently 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients, of whom 71 are living.
For more information about the Medal of Honor, visit http://themedalofhonor.com.