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DwightPruitt

Melvin E. Biddle RIP

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Melvin E. Biddle, the last surviving Hoosier to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II, died Thursday at his home in Anderson.

 

He was 87.

 

Friends said Biddle, a Daleville native, was a humble man who rarely talked about the two days in 1944 when he single-handedly killed more than a dozen German soldiers.

 

"He didn't want to be publicized too much," said Lew Goodwin, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 266 in Anderson. "He told us he did it to help his buddies out. He got tired of being shot at. He got tired of everyone being pinned down."

 

Biddle was a member of VFW Post 266 but had been visiting less frequently as his health deteriorated, Goodwin said. He said he never saw Biddle wear his medal.

 

Fellow post members were proud to have Biddle among their ranks.

 

"He was just somebody you could look up to," said Bennie Cravens, 66. "You felt proud to be a member of the same organization."

 

Pfc. Biddle was a scout with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment when his unit was sent to attack German soldiers encircling the town of Hotton, Belgium, on Dec. 23 and 24, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge.

 

Biddle pushed through dense forest and used his rifle and grenades to kill more than a dozen German snipers and machine gunners, according to his award citation.

 

"His 20-hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties," the citation said.

 

With Biddle's death, there are 86 surviving Medal of Honor recipients, including Sammy L. Davis, a Vietnam War veteran formerly of Indianapolis.

 

Davis, 64, said Biddle was known as "Uncle Bud" to fellow Medal of Honor recipients.

 

"When I grow up, I want to be just like Melvin Biddle," Davis said. "He was a good man in every aspect."

 

Davis had just undergone knee replacement surgery and was recuperating in a Vincennes-area hospital Friday. He said he hopes doctors discharge him in time to attend Biddle's funeral.

 

"It's made my heart heavy," Davis said.

 

President Harry S. Truman gave Biddle the medal on Oct. 12, 1945. According to the Medal of Honor Society, Truman whispered to Biddle: "People don't believe me when I tell them I'd rather have one of these than be president."

 

Biddle is survived by his wife, Leona, and other family members. Funeral services were pending.


Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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I met mr. Biddle at the 82nd abn. national convention in indianapolis indiana in 1980 when I was a private, he sat at our table during the memorial dinner because somebody had taken his reserved table. he was a real nice guy he told me that lt. general Grange who was the post commander at ft. benning at the time was in his platoon in ww2 and enjoyed telling that he had once out ranked him.


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RIP Mr. Biddle.

 

His death reminded me I have this small grouping that I was never able to confirm when he was still alive if the items with the autographed picture actually belonged to him. Either way, it's a nice tribute to Mr. Biddle and I think I will display it at my next VFW meeting.

 

Mike

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My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

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Cpl. Melvin E. Biddle of 517th May God Protect him at this time

on his final Journey, And may he Rest. In. Peace. :salute: :salute:


http://www.Paratrooper1944.Com/

https://www.facebook.com/paratrooper1944

IN MEMORY OF IRISH/AMERICANS FROM MY COUNTY.
Cpl: Patrick Gallagher, 3rd U.S.M.C Div K.I.A 30/03/1967 Navy Cross
Sgt: Patrick Nevin, B.Co. 1st Bn, 12th Cav, 1st CAVALRY Div K.I.A 23/02/1966

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