The Medal of Honor
 
   

Deadeye Ova A. Kelly

   
 
 
 

Private Ova A. Kelly was born in Norwood, Missouri and was a member of A Company. 382nd Infantry Regiment. He earned his Medal of Honor on Leyte Island on December 8, 1944.

 
 
Citation
 
 


Ova A Kelly was awarded the Medal of Honor, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

Before dawn, near the edge of the enemy-held Buri airstrip, the company was immobilized by heavy, accurate rifle and machinegun fire from hostile troops entrenched
in bomb craters and a ditch less than 100 yards distant. The company commander ordered a mortar concentration which destroyed 1 machinegun but failed to dislodge the main body of the enemy. At this critical moment Pvt. Kelley, on his own initiative, left his shallow foxhole with an armload of hand grenades and began a 1-man assault on the foe. Throwing his missiles with great accuracy, he moved forward, killed or wounded 5 men, and forced the remainder to flee in a disorganized route. He picked up a M-1 rifle and emptied its clip at the running Japanese, killing 3. Discarding this weapon, he took a carbine and killed 3 more of the enemy. Inspired by his example, his comrades followed him in a charge which destroyed
the entire enemy force of 34 enlisted men and 2 officers and captured 2 heavy and 1 light machineguns. Pvt. Kelley continued to press the attack on to an airstrip, where sniper fire wounded him so grievously that he died 2 days later. His outstanding courage, aggressiveness, and initiative in the face of grave danger was an inspiration to his entire company and led to the success of the attack.

   
         
   

Video from YouTube Honoring Medal of Honor recipient Ova Kelly

   
 

 

 
         
         
 
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