Francis Sherman “Frank” Currey MOH

b. 29/06/1925 Loch Sheldrake, New York. d. 08/10/2019 Selkirk, New York.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 21/12/1944 Malmedy, Belgium.

Francis S Currey MOH

Currey was born in Loch Sheldrake, New York, on June 29, 1925. After being orphaned at age 12, he was raised by foster parents on a farm in nearby Hurleyville. He joined the Army in 1943, one week after graduating from high school. Although he completed Officer Candidate School, at only 18 years old his superiors felt that he was “too immature” to be an officer and denied him a commission.

After training with the 75th Infantry Division, Currey was sent to England in the spring of 1944. Due to a recently signed executive order which prevented soldiers under age 19 from entering combat areas, Currey was delayed in England until his birthday at the end of June. He then landed at Omaha Beach, several weeks after D-Day, and in September joined the 120th Infantry Regiment in the Netherlands. On 18 October, he was assigned as a replacement without winter gear (he later suffered from frostbite) to 3rd Platoon, K Company, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, at Herzogenrath, Germany. He saw his first combat action that month. Six weeks later, he was a sergeant and 3rd Platoon Leader in K Company.

On December 21, 1944, Private First Class Currey was an automatic rifleman in a rifle squad which was guarding a bridge crossing and strongpoint. He repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire while firing upon and killing several German infantrymen during an early morning German tank advance in Malmedy, Belgium. During the attack, he used a bazooka and anti-tank grenades which caused four enemy tank crews to abandon their tanks and also enabled him to rescue five comrades who had been pinned down in a building by enemy fire. After the Battle of the Bulge, he became a squad leader, and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at his regiment’s command post.

In March 1945, Currey’s company commander recommended him for the Medal of Honor for his actions on December 21. The Medal of Honor was presented to Currey on July 27, 1945, by the 30th Infantry Division division commander, Major General Leland Hobbs, near Reims, France; the medal was officially awarded to him on August 17, 1945. After the war was over in Europe, he received his third Purple Heart for being shot in Bavaria while disarming German soldiers. He returned to the United States in August as a first sergeant after occupational duty and a stop in England aboard the Queen Mary.

Currey worked as a counselor at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, New York, from 1950 until he retired as a supervisor in 1980. After he retired from Veterans Affairs, he started and ran a landscaping business. He also worked at a hotel booking conventions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, until 2002. In 1998, the first Medal of Honor G.I. Joe action figure was modeled after Currey. In 2013, an outside mural of Currey was unveiled in his honor as a living Medal of Honor recipient at the Sullivan Country Museum in Hurleyville. In November 2013, Currey’s photo was one of 12 photos of Medal of Honor recipients on the cover sheet of a U.S. Postal Service “World War II Medal of Honor Forever Stamp” packet of 20 Medal of Honor stamps. 

Currey died on October 8, 2019, in Selkirk, New York.



He was an automatic rifleman with the 3rd Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3rd Platoon’s position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with 1 shot. Moving to another position, he observed 3 Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all 3 with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within 50 yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of 1 wall. While in this forward position, he observed 5 Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and 3 tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tankmen from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the 5 soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw.