Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Paul B. Huff

Distinguished Member of the Regiment

Paul Huff wartime photo shortly after returning to the states


NAME: Paul Bert Huff

ASN: 34142155

PLACE OF BIRTH: Cleveland, Bradley County, TN

DATE OF BIRTH: 23 June 1918

DATES OF SERVICE: 27 June 1941 to

UNIT ASSIGNED:

A Company, 504th Parachute Battalion

D Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment

D Company, 2nd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment

A Company, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion

Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division

Headquarters, 3rd Army

CAMPAIGNS: Algeria French-Morocco, Tunisia, Naples - Foggia, Anzio, Rome - Arno

AWARDS (WWII):Medal of Honor, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, European Africa Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with arrowhead and four campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation, Parachutist Badge with three combat jump stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, French 3rd Zouaves Regiment Badge

AWARDS (POST WWII): Master Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge - 2nd Award (Vietnam), Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star device, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service star devices, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

23 Jun 1918 - Born Cleveland, Bradley County, TN

1923 - Paul Huff's mother Danah B. Sipe Huff died when Paul was 5 years old.

1935 - When Paul was 17, his father Isham married Maybell Lawson

27 Jun 1941 - Enlisted at Fort Oglethorpe, GA - NARA Enlistment Record

Enlistment Record

ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 34142155 34142155
NAME HUFF#PAUL#B############# HUFF#PAUL#B#############
RESIDENCE: STATE 48 TENNESSEE
RESIDENCE: COUNTY 011 BRADLEY
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 4350 FT OGLETHORPE GEORGIA
DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 27 27
DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 06 06
DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 41 41
GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION PVT# Private
GRADE: CODE 8 Private
BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI# Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
BRANCH: CODE 00 Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
FIELD USE AS DESIRED # #
TERM OF ENLISTMENT 0 Undefined Code
LONGEVITY ### ###
SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0 Civil Life
NATIVITY 48 TENNESSEE
YEAR OF BIRTH 18 18
RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1 White, citizen
EDUCATION 1 1 year of high school
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 635 Semiskilled Upholsterers
MARITAL STATUS 6 Single, without dependents
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 7 Selectees (Enlisted Men)
CARD NUMBER # #
BOX NUMBER 0759 0759
FILM REEL NUMBER 1.276 1.276

00 Feb 1942 - Pvt. Paul B. Huff 34142155 A Co. 504th PB, Cleveland, TN, Feb-42

08 Nov 1942 - Pvt. Paul B. Huff 34142155 D Co 2nd Bn 509th PIR, Hometown: Cleveland, TN, Participated in Jump in Operation TORCH (VILLIAN) near Oran, North Africa, Plane: 2, Seat: 7, Combat Weight 247 lbs

15 Nov 1942 - Participated in Jump at Youks Les Bains, North Africa

14 Sep 1943 - Participated in Jump in Operation AVALANCHE (GIANT III) near Avellino, Italy

21 Oct 1943 - Pfc. Paul B. Huff 34142155 D Co 2nd Bn 509th PIR, SO 75 Promoted to Cpl. (Temp)

22 Jan 1944 - Participated in Amphibious Landing at Anzio, Italy as part of Operation SHINGLE

08 Feb 1944 - Action at Carano, Italy in which he earned the Medal of Honor

10 Apr 1944 - Sgt. Paul B. Huff 34142155 A CO 509th PIB, 10-Apr-44 GO 5 Award of Combat Infantryman Badge

Medal of Honor Citation:

"Corporal, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, U.S. Army. Near Carano, Italy. Date of Action: February 8, 1944

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on 8 February 1944, near Carano, Italy. Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a six-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility.

As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small arms and machinegun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within 5 to ten yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet. Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from three enemy machineguns and a 20mm. weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machinegun position.

Under direct fire from the rear machinegun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun and destroyed the gun. During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety.

As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, one group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only three patrol members. Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman."

26 May 1944 - Paul B. Huff, GO 41 W.D. Award of Medal of Honor, listed on page 383 in the book Stand in the Door by Charles H. Doyle and Terrell Stewart

08 Jun 1944 - General Mark Clark presents Medal of Honor to Paul Huff

Paul Huff is returned stateside to receive Medal of Honor presentation publicly with President Franklin D. Roosevelt then sent on a War Bond Tour with the Airborne Demonstration Team

30 Apr 1958 - M/Sgt. Paul Huff reports to Arlington National Cemetery, VA for month long training to prepare for the ceremonial interment of the World War II and Korean War Unknown Soldiers.

30 May 1958 - M/Sgt. Paul Huff participates in the ceremonial interment of the World War II and Korean War Unknown Soldiers. M/Sgt. Paul Huff hands the Medal of Honor to President Eisenhower to be presented to the World War II Unknown Soldier. Go to this link to learn more about the ceremony http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/unk-w2ko.htm

- Paul Huff serves as Command Sergeant Major of 101st Airborne Division and deploys to Vietnam

- Paul Huff serves as Command Sergeant Major of 3rd Army

- Paul B. Huff retired from the United States Army as a Command Sergeant Major

11 Nov 1988 - The City of Cleveland designated Paul B. Huff Parkway, a major thoroughfare linking Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 11 in his honor on Veterans Day, 1988

21 Sep 1994 - Passed away Cleveland, Bradley County, TN. Buried in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens, Cleveland, Bradley County, TN.

Listed on page 123 in the book GERONIMO! U.S. Airborne Uniforms, Insignia and Equipment in World War II

LINKS:

Stars and Stripes Article on Paul Huff in Vietnam


Paul Huff photo his mother passed on to be used in the US Army book of Medal of Honor Recipients


Fifth Army Awards Ceremony in Italy on 08 Jun 1944. Left to Right: General Mark Clark - Commanding General, Fifth Army, S/Sgt. Paul Huff - 509th PIB, Pfc. Alton Knappenberger - 3rd ID, Foreign Unknown, Major General Unknown, French Unknown, French Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

(Photo: U. S. Army Signal Corps)



S/Sgt. Paul Huff - 509th PIB, Pfc. Alton Knappenberger - 3rd ID, Major General Unknown, Foreign Unknown, General Mark Clark - Commanding General, Fifth Army (Note: Except for his overseas cap, Paul Huff made no attempt to clean up for this ceremony wearing his M42 uniform with spray painted camouflage, he also wears his M3 knife sheathed behind his .45 cal holster)



S/Sgt. Paul Huff sometime after being awarded the Medal of Honor


S/Sgt. Paul Huff traveling stateside on a C-47 Skytrain for the War Bond drive


S/Sgt. Paul Huff relaxing stateside while traveling on the War Bond drive


S/Sgt. Paul Huff asks Betty Cunningham to marry him while on board a C-47 Skytrain preparing to jump at a War Bond Rally

(Photo U.S. Army Signal Corps)


S/Sgt. Paul Huff in the 1950's


M/Sgt. Paul Huff stands behind President Eisenhower holding the Medal of Honor to be presented to the World War II Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, VA on 30 May 1958

(U. S. Army Signal Corps)


M/Sgt. Paul Huff visits with his long time friend Sgt. Alvin C. York WWI Medal of Honor recipient and fellow Tennessean. Growing up close to where Sgt. York lived, Paul Huff looked up to him with great respect


CSM Paul Huff


Paul Huff at home in Clarksville, Tennessee around 1984 (Photo: courtesy Ron C.)


Buried in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens, Cleveland, Bradley County, TN



Ceremony dedicating Huff Hall at the 1-509th Parachute Infantry Regiment Headquarters at Fort Polk, LA.


Paul Huffs Medal of Honor presented by General Mark Clark, Commanding General, Fifth Army in Italy. This medal has no inscription on reverse, but was the one most often worn by Paul Huff. The ribbon was replaced several times over the years.


Paul Huffs Medal of Honor presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt upon his return stateside. This medal has the inscription on reverse 'THE CONGRESS TO CPL. PAUL B. HUFF INF. U.S. ARMY CARANO, ITALY 8 FEB. 1944'


Paul Huffs medal set upon retirement



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