Grothman Authors Bill To Award Medal Of Honor To FDL WWII Veteran

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) introduced legislation today to award Fond du Lac native James “Maggie” Megellas the Medal of Honor. The bill, H.R. 808, authorizes and requests President Barack Obama to award Megellas with the United States’ highest military honor for his courageous actions during the Battle of the Bulge. It is Grothman’s first piece of legislation in Congress.

“The heroism displayed by Maggie more than 70 years ago deserves our nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. His selfless actions saved countless lives, stopped the advance of enemy troops, and involved repeated disregard for his own life,” said Grothman. “The time has come for Maggie to be rightfully awarded the Medal of Honor.”

On January 28, 1945, First Lieutenant Megellas led his platoon in a successful attack on an enemy battalion near Herresbach, Belgium, that outnumbered them ten-to-one. After the attack, he advanced his platoon towards the town when a German Mark V Panther tank pinned them down. Megellas weathered enemy fire to attack and destroy the tank himself with just two grenades and his submachine gun. He then led his platoon to secure Herresbach for advancing Allied forces. Under Megellas’ command, his platoon did not suffer a single casualty that day.

Megellas is the most decorated soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He was born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and graduated from Ripon College. He currently lives in Colleyville, Texas.

The bill carries on the work of Grothman’s predecessor in Congress, former U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, who had introduced the legislation in previous Congresses.