Friday, July 15, 2016

LTC John Alfred Metcalfe III

as a West Point cadet
LTC John Alfred Metcalfe III was born 14 Oct 1914 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the oldest of 2 sons born to John Alfred and May Swindell (Tallman) Metcalfe. John Sr. worked as an certified public accountant in Birmingham, Alabama. They attended Southside Baptist Church. John Sr. died in 1933. Young John attended first Philips High School and then was selected for the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York.

2LT Metcalfe graduated in the USMA class of 1935. He married Rosa William Pitts on 18 May 1937. His mother and brother would live with John's new family. John reported a 1939 income of $2100. He was first posted to Fort McPherson, Georgia and then to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. His first overseas duty of the war was in Iceland. He was sent to England where he commanded 1st Battalion 116th Infantry and was instrumental in training the unit for the amphibious assault that was key to the invasion of Hitler's "fortress Europe". LTC Metcalfe landed with his unit on 6 Jun 1944. In that effort, he led his unit to relieve the Rangers at Point du Hoc. LTC Metcalfe was wounded on 29 Jun 1944. The morning report shows him as dying on 2 Jul 1944 but he is officially recorded as having died of his wound(s) on 15 Jul 1944.  

LTC Metcalfe was awarded the Bronze Star. The citation follows:
For meritorious achievement against the enemy in Normandy, France. On June 9, 1944, elements of the First Battalion were pinned down by enemy mortar and machine-gun fire. Utterly disregarding his own safety, Lt. Col. Metcalfe moved forward in the face of intense fire to direct his men in engaging the foe. Lt. Col. Metcalfe’s initiative, courage and devotion to duty inspired the troops and were largely responsible for the success of his organization in seizing its objective, reflecting great credit upon himself and the military service.

LTC Metcalfe was buried Cambridge American Cemetery.

His father was a veteran of WWI. His grandfather, John Alfred Metcalfe, served in F Company 7th Alabama Cavalry (CSA) in the Civil War. 

- West Point Academy Alumni Memorial  

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