World War II Medal of Honor Recipient’s Heroism Remembered 70 Years Later
April 28th marks the seventieth anniversary of the extraordinary acts of courage and personal sacrifice for which Pvt. Nicholas Minue, who served with Company A of the 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Tunisian Campaign was approaching a dramatic climax after months of see-saw fighting. The Germans and Italians had poured tens of thousands of troops into North Africa to arrest the advances of Allied armies from Egypt and Algeria. After tough fighting these Axis troops had been worsted, and retired into a tight perimeter around Tunis benefitting from formidable terrain. This tough nut would have to be cracked if the Allies were to win in North Africa.
Medjez el Bab, a town to the southwest of Tunis, occupied a critical position along the Axis perimeter, dominating a rail line and a river valley that thrust through the middle of it. Company A was advancing near Medjez el Bab when flanking enemy machine guns brought it to a halt. Identifying the source of this deadly fire, Pvt. Minue unhesitatingly and alone charged into the enemy position with fixed bayonet. Bursting into the entrenchments, he dispatched about ten of the enemy and extinguished the threat. Pvt. Minue then moved on to rout other enemy riflemen from nearby dugouts, further enabling his company’s advance. Pvt. Minue was fatally wounded in the course of this fierce fighting. His fearless assault led to a breakthrough, and inspired his comrades to further success. Axis resistance collapsed within two weeks, and 275,000 Germans and Italians fell prisoner.
Pvt. Minue was not a young man. He was 38, and could have avoided the perilous combat circumstances in which he found himself. Born in the Ukraine and an immigrant, he believed in the pricelessness of freedom and in the cause of his new country. His sense of service carried him into campaigns overseas, and his commitment to his fellows led him to undertake extraordinary risks on their behalf. Minue is buried in Section E, Row 8, Grave 4 of the North African American Cemetery. 2,841 rest alongside him, and 3,724 are listed on the cemetery’s Wall of the Missing. “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”
About the American Battle Monuments Commission:
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 24 overseas military cemeteries, and 25 memorials, monuments, and markers.