While visiting in France several years ago and walking among the many white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery, one cross caught my eye as it was the final resting place of Frank D. Peregory, one of three Medal of Honor recipients buried in this cemetery. I did some research on Frank and learned he landed on Omaha Beach with the first waves of troops on D-Day. Two days later his unit had fought their way to the small town of Grandcampe. His bravery that day I summarize from his Medal of Honor citation.

Frank’s unit was under constant fire from German machine gun emplacements which could not be neutralized by tanks or artillery. On his own initiative he single-handedly charged the enemy positions and using grenades and bayonet killed eight Germans outright, captured three, and then went on again, single-handedly, to force another 32 Germans to surrender, opening the way for his unit to advance.

Unfortunately, Frank received his medal posthumously as he was killed in action six days later fighting in the hedgerows. Frank joined the military in 1931 at age 15, lying about his birth year. He was 28 when killed. We owe so much to those like Frank who gave it all for their country and fellow citizens as we celebrate this Memorial Day.

Frank Moody, Bakersfield