Rank and organization:
Technical Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Company M, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division.
Place and date:
East of Belmont sur Buttant, France, 24-27 October 1944.
Entered service at:
Signal Mountain, Tenn.
Signal Mountain, Tenn.
53, July 1945.
Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by I platoon of Company K, he took a
position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the
mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt.
Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for
coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in
the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the
Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the
enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no
officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men
were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt.
Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position,
calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back.
Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this
combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On 27
October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position.
The area was swept by enemy small-arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed
himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to
function and he threw it aside. Securing all the handgrenades he could carry, he crawled
forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent
that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position.
T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly
withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's
heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished
throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain
and cold and amid dense woods.