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TOWLE, JOHN R.

TOWLE, JOHN R. (19 Oct. 1924-21 Sept. 1944), Congressional medal of honor winner for service in WORLD WAR II, was the son of William J. and Mary Simpkins Towle. One of 4 children, he grew up on E. 73d St. in Cleveland, and as a boy attended St. Agnes school. He joined the army in March 1943, becoming a member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 82nd Airborne Division and served in North Africa, Italy, and the European Theater of Operations. Pvt. Towle single-handedly defeated a tank-supported German infantry counter attack at Osterhout, Holland 21 Sept. 1944, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was 19 years old.

Major General C. L. Scott presented the Medal to Towle's parents at a ceremony at Ft. Knox, Ky. in March 1945, and his body was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland 23 Jan. 1949; Major General James A. Gavin, wartime commander of the 82nd Airborne spoke at the internment. Several facilities at Ft. Bragg, NC were named in his honor. Towle was survived by his parents, a brother Thomas R. and sisters Edith Ryan and Joanne Chessar.