A single Army soldier hitchhiked from England to France to aid in battle during WWII- He had a near-fatal neck wound

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During WWII, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Urban demonstrated heroic courage leading to his battalion's establishment of the Meuse River's crossing point. Urban reported to the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, at Fort Bragg on Jul. 2, 1941. [i]

At the time, Urban was a Captain whose company was attacking Renouf, France, in Jun. 1944. Heavy enemy, small arms, and tank fire rained down during the attack on Urban's company. Arming himself with a bazooka, Urban worked his way toward the enemy tanks through hedgerows. Brazenly exposing himself, Urban fired the bazooka, destroying both tanks. [ii]

Urban's company moved forward, and he was later wounded in his leg by direct fire from a 37mm tank gun. Refusing evacuation, Urban continued fighting until he was wounded again and forced to evacuate to a hospital in England. [iii]

While recovering, Urban learned of his unit's numerous losses and voluntarily left the hospital where he had been recovering. According to the Medal of Honor citation, Urban

Hitchhiked his way back to his unit near St. Lo, France. Arriving 25 Jul., he found that his unit had jumped-off at 1100 hours in the first attack of Operation Cobra. Still limping from his leg wound, Captain Urban made his way forward to retake command of his company. [iv]
President Jimmy Carter after presenting the Medal of Honor to Matt Urban.Photo byThe White House/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

On Aug. 2, Urban was again wounded during an enemy attack. Shell fragments injured him in the chest, but he refused evacuation. His battalion was given orders to establish a crossing point on the Meuse River near Heer, Belgium. [v]

Urban organized and personally led a charge toward the enemy strong-point, during which he received a severe neck injury. Despite this, Urban remained in battle "until the enemy was routed and his battalion had secured the crossing-point on the Meuse River." [v]

Watch the video below for more on Matt Urban, dubbed 'The Ghost of WWII.'

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[i] Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Matt Louis Urban (2022)

[ii] Arlington National Cemetery, Matt L. Urban Section 7A, Grave 40 (2022)

[iii] Id.

[iv] Military Times, Matt Louis Urban - Medal of Honor (2022)

[v] Arlington National Cemetery, Matt L. Urban Section 7A, Grave 40 (2022)

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