Quotes

“Anyone who glorifies war dishonors the memory of the men who fought it and died.”
LTC James “Maggie” Megellas 2007


“The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Tanks and Fighting Vehicles by Christopher F. Foss states the U.S. Army reckoned that it took five (5) U.S. Sherman tanks to knock out one German Mark V Panther tank. I never realized that Megellas was equivalent to five U.S. Sherman tanks.”
Col. (Retired) Edward Sims from a 2007 letter to Congressman Tom Petri


“A brave Wisconsinite and dedicated soldier, LTC (Retired) James Megallas deserves to be awarded the Medal of Honor. I’m proud to sponsor this bill recognizing his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Mr. Megellas’ acts of valor merit our nation’s highest honor.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) WI.


“James Megellas is a legendary American paratrooper and a true American treasure. The fact that he continues to be denied the Medal of Honor for his remarkable, above and beyond gallantry and leadership at Herresbach, Belgium in January of 1945, is an American tragedy.”
Jerry Devlin, Author: Paratrooper!;
Silent Wings; Back to Corregidor



“Maggie’s courage and calm leadership under fire are indeed the stuff of legend-a legend that to this day continues to inspire and encourage the troopers of the 82d Airborne as they serve in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.”
David H. Petraeus General, US Army
letter to the Daughters of the American Revolution



“On the night of 28-29 January 1945, Lieutenant James “Maggie” Megellas of H Company, 3/504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, led an attack, outnumbered and outgunned, on the town of Herresbach, Belgium that has been called, by those who witnessed it, ‘the perfect battle’. But it could only have been accomplished under the leadership of the perfect combat commander!”
Guy LoFaro, Author, Sword of St. Michael


“He should be wearing a Medal of Honor” Anyone who attacks a tank with a rifle and a couple of grenades is clearly doing something above and beyond the call of duty.”
John Wertschnig, Fond du Lac County Veterans Services Officer


“Maggie was the bravest man I ever saw. He cared about each one of us. He appreciated us all so much! He would do anything for us, and we would follow him anywhere. It wasn’t just that he was a Paratrooper and a heroic combat leader. He was the best at that of course. But he is more. He is a good man. He’s done good things for people all his life.”
SSG Bill Hannigan, H/504 PIR WWII


“We were catching hell from a Panther when I saw someone charging the tank with a Thompson submachine gun! I asked myself ‘Who in the hell is that crazy sonofabitch?!’ I saw him knock that tank out with a couple of grenades and found out later it was Maggie. He saved us all!”
Col. George Heib, H/504 PIR WWII;
Special Forces Vietnam



“There is absolutely no question that Jim Megellas deserves the upgrade to the Medal of Honor for his actions outside Herresbach, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. When the United States Army filed its report on the action, the mention of Megellas single-handedly disabling a threatening German tank by himself with just two hand grenades was somehow and regrettably omitted. Maggie’s split-second decision saved the lives of dozens of his men and was witnessed by many 82nd Airborne paratroopers who were there. Prior to his action against the tank, Megellas had already led his platoon and other 82nd men in the killing and capture of over 280 Germans. The Americans lost not a single life during the fight, due to the many quick decisions made by James Megellas and the men he led on that day. It’s time to correct one of the major oversights of World War II.”
Tim Gray, Chairman
The World War II Foundation



“James “Maggie” Megellas is one of the greatest soldiers the United States has ever produced. A fighter at Salerno and Anzio and Nijmegen, a hero at the battle of the Bulge, and the most decorated officer in the 82nd Airborne Division: Maggie did it all.
The defining moment in his career came on a cold winter day in January 1945. During the Battle of the Bulge, Maggie’s platoon came up against long odds: a German battalion-sized counterattack near the Belgian village of Herresbach. Sizing things up quickly, Maggie led his 27 man platoon in a do-or-die charge into the heart of the enemy force that caught the Germans by surprise and routed them. Later, he put an exclamation point on it by personally charging a German Mark V Panther tank, climbing on it, and destroying it with explosive charges. I don’t go in much for “greatest generation” rhetoric. But in this case, I will make an exception. If ever an American soldier deserved the Medal of Honor, it is Maggie Megellas.”

Dr. Rob Citino
University of North Texas
Leading Authority – Modern German Military History



“America has a tradition and ability to correct its wrongs and oversights as it did with African-Americans and Japanese-Americans regarding deserved Medals of Honor not previously awarded. It’s well past time to rectify the oversight for LtCol James Megellas.”
John E. Nevola
Author: The Last Jump – A Novel of World War II



“My father, who grew up next to Jim, had been a prisoner of war. When I was a young boy he told me about one legend that he never forgot and that was Jim Megellas.”
Col. John Scocos, Secretary
Wisconsin Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Interview in Fond du Lac Reporter



“As the medical officer assigned to the 3rd BN, 504 PIR, I constantly received reports of important actions. Coupling these reports with my knowledge of the bravery, leadership and outstanding character of Lt. Megellas, it is easy for me to accept the fact being evaluated as totally true, if not even underestimated. Our Paratroopers are so accustomed to seeing and doing acts of bravery that they tend to take them as a matter of fact. When a particular event occurs to make them take notice, believe me, it must be an exceptional event. Company H, under the leadership of Lt. Megellas, covered itself with glory. To add probable weight to my recommendation, please recognize that I am not unaware of the demands of combat having been awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts and 2 Presidential Unit Citations.”
Dr. Hyman D. Shapiro, Capt. (Ret.) 504 PIR
Letter to the president



“we have not closed the loop with you in your quest to get Mr. Jim Megellas the Medal of Honor for his gallantry in action in January 1945. You are a great warrior-leader in your own right. The fact that you continue to pursue the Medal of Honor for a fellow comrade, never to be daunted by the bureaucracy, reflects great credit upon you and exemplifies by your actions why the 504 was and continues to be a great Regiment. I have met Mr. Megellas and find him to be a national treasure.”
Col. Leo Brooks, C.O., 504th PIR
Aug. 9, 2000 letter to Col. Edward Sims



“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
– President John F. Kennedy


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