From U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal:
(Hartford, Conn.) – Today (Friday) Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) presented Joseph Minto, 91, of Bridgeport with several medals he earned fighting in World War II, including the Bronze Star. Blumenthal assisted U.S. Army Pfc. Minto in obtaining four medals, two badges, and a lapel button he earned during his service more than half a century ago but never received. Blumenthal presented Minto with the awards at the 94th Annual American Legion Convention in Rocky Hill.
“These medals for one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation are deeply deserved and too long delayed,” Blumenthal said. “The heroic and courageous feats of Joseph Minto in the Battle of the Bulge helped to win that fight and save the lives of countless comrades. The recognition today is a small token of the nation’s gratitude and the debt owed by generations living in freedom and democracy today due to him and others who have served and sacrificed like him.”
Minto, a machine gunner who served in the Battle of the Bulge, was awarded the Bronze Star for acts of bravery in combat. On February 15, 1945, Minto fought off four German Royal Tiger tanks and other attackers near the fortified town of Remeling, France.
“It is men like Pfc. Minto who stand out in the annals of the United States Army and who are a tribute to their army and country,” Lt. Gen. Reese, his commanding general, wrote at the time.
Below is the complete text of the letter that Lt. Gen. Reese wrote on Minto’s behalf in November of 1945:
“On the 15th of February 1945 near Remeling, France, PFC Minto with the 71st Infantry of the 44th Infantry Division assaulted the fortified town of Remling. During the first hour of the attack M. Company was held by four German Royal Tiger Tanks. It was at this time that PFC Joseph Minto a machine gunner with M. Company abandoned his machine gun temporarily and picked up the bazooka of a fallen comrade. Crawling forward under the intense fire from the 88′s and machine guns of four German tanks, PFC Minto at great personal risk, worked himself into a favorable position and opened up on the four tiger tanks with his bazooka. After 10 minutes of concentrated bazooka fire, three of the German tanks were knocked out and the fourth was forced to withdraw. It was then that M Co. could resume its advance and PFC Minto could return to his beloved machine gun which he had sentimentally named ‘Hun Killer.’ After Remeling had been taken by the 71st Infantry, the Germans launched a counter-attack. During this counter-attack, PFC Minto, disregarding all personal safety, mounted his gun on the roof of the city hall, where he was exposed to all enemy fire, but where all the enemy was exposed to this fire. It was here that PFC Minto broke up the enemy counter attack by killing 78 Germans and wounding almost 100 more. It is men like PFC Minto who stand out in the annals of the United States Army, and who are a tribute to their army and country.”