b. 15/08/1915 Chicago, Illinois. d. 08/05/1945 Balete Pass, Philippines.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/05/1945 Balete Pass, Philippines.
Krotiak joined the Army from his birth city of Chicago, Illinois in November 1941, and by May 8, 1945 was serving as a private first class in Company I, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division. On that day, in the Balete Pass, Luzon, the Philippines, he smothered the blast of a Japanese-thrown grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor the next year, on February 13, 1946.
He was an acting squad leader, directing his men in consolidating a newly won position on Hill B when the enemy concentrated small arms fire and grenades upon him and 4 others, driving them to cover in an abandoned Japanese trench. A grenade thrown from above landed in the center of the group. Instantly pushing his comrades aside and jamming the grenade into the earth with his rifle butt, he threw himself over it, making a shield of his body to protect the other men. The grenade exploded under him, and he died a few minutes later. By his extraordinary heroism in deliberately giving his life to save those of his comrades, Pfc. Krotiak set an inspiring example of utter devotion and self-sacrifice which reflects the highest traditions of the military service.
BURIAL LOCATION: HOLY SEPULCHRE CEMETERY, ALSIP, ILLINOIS.
Section 23, Block 14, Lot 8
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