Second Lieutenant Paul F. Riordan, Infantry, United States Army, is a recipient of our nation's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor. | MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. In the attack on the approaches to the city of Cassino on 3 February 1944, Lieutenant Riordan led one of the assault platoons. Attacking Hill 175, his command was pinned down by enemy machine-gun fire from the hill and from a pillbox about 45 yards to the right of the hill. In the face of the intense fire, Lieutenant Riordan moved out in full view of the enemy gunners to reach a position from where he could throw a hand grenade into the pillbox. Then getting up on his knees he hurled the grenade approximately 45 yards, scoring a direct hit. The grenade killed one and wounded the other two Germans in the nest and silenced the gun. Another soldier then cleaned out the enemy pillboxes on the hill itself, and the Company took its objective. Continuing the assault into Cassino itself on 8 February 1944, Lieutenant Riordan and his platoon were given the mission of taking the city jailhouse, one of the enemy’s several strongpoints. Again Lieutenant Riordan took the lead and managed to get through the ring of enemy fire covering the approaches and reached the building. His platoon, however, could not get through the intense fire and was cut off. Lieutenant Riordan, aware that his men were unable to follow, determined to carry on the attack alone and entered the jailhouse. There he engaged the enemy single-handed, but the numerically superior enemy force were too much for him to overcome and he was killed by enemy small-arms fire after disposing of at least two of the defenders. Lieutenant Riordan’s bravery and extraordinary heroism in the face of almost certain death were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest tradition of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Additional Information

Graduated From
Fort Benning, Georgia
Highest Award
Medal of Honor
Graduation Year
Year Inducted
Branch Of Service
Second Lieutenant

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