Second Lieutenant Raymond Zussman
2LT Raymond Zussman is being inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. He received the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions above and beyond the call of duty during the battle for Noroy-le-Bourg, France.
Raymond Zussman was born 23 July 1917 in Hamtramck, Michigan. He graduated from Durfey Intermediate and Central High School of Detroit where he played basketball, tennis, and ran track. After graduation, he joined Teamsters Local 337 eventually becoming a Shop Steward. Zussman attended one year at Wayne State University.
Zussman was 23 years old when he entered the army on 24 September 1941. He first went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for basic training and later to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he attended the class of Armored Officers School and graduated as a Second Lieutenant on 9 January 1943. In June 1943, he participated in the allied invasion of North Africa and the invasion of Italy where he was wounded at the battle of Monte Cassino. The Army offered Zussman a Headquarters position, but he declined, stating he wanted another front-line position and he was then assigned to a tank unit in France.
On 12 September 1944, 2LT Zussman, Company A, 756th Tank Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, led 2 tanks, operating with an Infantry company, in the attack on enemy forces occupying the town of Noroy-le-bourg, France. That evening his command tank bogged down and 2LT Zussman, armed only with a carbine, reconnoitered ahead, alone, on foot. Advancing far ahead of his unit he would return occasionally to designate targets and to turn over captured German soldiers. While still dismounted, Zussman located a road block. Standing dismounted beside his tank, only 50 yards away from the enemy, he directed its fire; three Germans were killed and eight surrendered. Again, leading the tank on foot, he encountered an enemy-held group of houses. The tank opened fire breaking the enemy’s resistance resulting in the capture of 20 enemy soldiers. Going forward again, alone, he encountered an enemy-occupied house. After a brief firefight, he signaled his tank to come up and open fire; 11 German soldiers were killed and 15 surrendered. Continuing alone, he disappeared around a street corner and after a few minutes he reappeared driving 30 prisoners before him. Under 2LT Zussman's heroic and inspiring leadership, 18 enemy soldiers were killed and 92 captured. On 21 September 1944, nine days after the battle at Noroy-le-Bourg, Zussman was killed by a German mortar bomb blast.
On 24 May 1945, at a graduation ceremony at the United States Army Armor School (then located at Fort Knox) Zussman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Noroy-le-Bourg. On 6 June 1949, Zussman was disinterred from a military cemetery and reburied in Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale, Michigan.
Zussman's military awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.