Historic Background Sets Stage for Star

April 29, 1945


"Tigers of the Tenth - during the first three weeks of fighting you have liberated 100 square miles of France and occupied 50 square miles of German territory....Papers have already announced the Tigers as the first of General Patton's divisions to enter Germany...You have earned high praise."

Men of the Tenth armored division cherish the above commendation, given them on December 3 by Maj. Gen. William H. Morris, commanding. One of the men who fought and worked with distinction, during the busy three weeks in which Patton's divisions first crossed the German border is Pfc. Kenneth N. Manning, of Oklahoma City. Manning earned a Bronze Star.

He is a member of the 419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion of the "Tiger" division whose story is set forth graphically in a memorandum for their unit citation.

This memorandum, dated January 9, reads in part:

"To all personnel: During the recent German offensive you met the pride of the German army, and sent it reeling back into the Siegried defenses. This battalion; astride the main raod into the vital city of Luxembourg, not only played a major part in saving that city but also enabled an army corps to assemble in our rear and relieve the defenders of Bastogne.

Against this historic background rests the story of Pvt. Manning's Bronze Star awarded for "heroic achievement" in Luxembourg, on 21 December 1944.

On that day, as member of an artillery forward observer's team, Manning helped in furnishing continuous and effective observation for his unit during the desperate struggle with the enemy in the town of Michelshof.

Although exposed to enemy small arms, mortar and artillery fire, he refused to seek shelter because of the urgent need for artillery support.

Even after the friendly artillery fire had been lifted, which afforded some little protection. Pvt. Manning stayed at his post to provide the only means of communication between elements of the task force.

The citation says, "His courage, determination and outstadning performance of duty under fire, reflects greatly upon himself, his orgnization, and the military forces."

This 23-year-old soldier has just returned home on furlough to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Manning, his wife, and his young son, who all live at 1301 S. Blackwelder. His father, sister, Janie, and his wife, are employed at Tinker Field.

Before entering service he was a farmer in Garvin county, operating a farm northeast of Lindsay. His son was one-week old the day Kenneth Manning became a soldier in November, 1942.


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