Melvin Earl “Bud” Biddle MOH

b. 28/11/1923 Daleville, Indiana. d. 16/12/2010 Anderson, Indiana.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 23/12/1944 Between Soy and Hotton, Belgium.

Melvin E “Bud” Biddle MOH

Biddle was born on November 28, 1923, in Daleville, Indiana, to Owen J. and Blanche Olive (Bowen) Biddle. He had two brothers, Ralph and Lee, and three sisters, Marie, Carolyn, and Eileen. A lifelong resident of the area, Biddle attended elementary school in Daleville and graduated from Anderson High School in nearby Anderson, Indiana. He worked for Delco Remy in Anderson until being drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1943. He was presented with his Medal of Honor on 12 October 1945 at The White House from President Harry S. Truman.  He traveled by train from Anderson to Washington, D.C.; while enroute he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. When presenting the medal to him, President Truman whispered “People don’t believe me when I tell them that I’d rather have one of these than be President.” He was also awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge. 

On December 1, 1946, Biddle married his childhood sweetheart, Leona Elsie Allen. The couple had two daughters, Elissa and Marsha. After leaving the military, Biddle returned to Indiana and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He helped distribute loans and benefits to veterans for 26 years until his retirement. He also served on the Anderson City Council.

Biddle rarely spoke of his Medal of Honor action. He gave occasional interviews and appeared at events honoring veterans but preferred to lead a more private life. He was an avid golfer and a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. “Bud” Biddle died at Saint John’s Medical Center in Anderson, Indiana on 16 December 2010 aged 87. 



He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy near Soy, Belgium, on 23 and 24 December 1944. Serving as lead scout during an attack to relieve the enemy-encircled town of Hotton, he aggressively penetrated a densely wooded area, advanced 400 yards until he came within range of intense enemy rifle fire, and within 20 yards of enemy positions killed 3 snipers with unerring marksmanship. Courageously continuing his advance an additional 200 yards, he discovered a hostile machine-gun position and dispatched its 2 occupants. He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machine-gun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third. After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, coolly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot 3 more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within 20 yards of a machine-gun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle. When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out 2 enemy tanks. At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machine-gun position and from a distance of 50 yards killed the crew and 2 supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic weapon support, fled panic stricken.