Franklin Earl Sigler
Private, United States Marine Corps
Private First Class Franklin Earl Sigler won the Medal of Honor during the Iwo Jima campaign in a one-man assault on a Japanese gun position which had been holding up the advance of his company for several days, and for annihilating the enemy gun crew with hand grenades. Although painfully wounded during his attack, he directed the fire of his squad and personally carried three of his buddies who were wounded to safety behind the lines.
The nation's highest military decoration was presented to Private First Class Sigler during ceremonies at the White House. President Truman awarded the medal to him on Friday, October 5, 1945.
Franklin Earl Sigler was born at Montclair, New Jersey, November 6, 1924, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Sigler. They later moved to Little Falls, New Jersey, where he attended Little Falls High School prior to his enlistment in the Marine Corps on March 23, 1943.
Completing his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, Private First Class Sigler was next transferred to the Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, in June, 1943.
In April, 1944 he joined Company F, 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, and in July he embarked aboard the USS Clay for Hilo, Hawaii. Later, he sailed for Iwo Jima where he won the Medal of Honor on March 14, 1945.
Private First Class Sigler, then a private, took command of his squad when his squad leader became a casualty and unhesitatingly lead them in a bold rush against an enemy gun position that had been holding up the advance of his company for several days.
Reaching the gun position first, he personally annihilated the gun crew with grenades. When more enemy troops began firing from tunnels and caves leading to the gun position, he, without consideration for his own safety, successfully scaled the rocks leading up to the position and alone assaulted the Japanese completely surprising them.
Although painfully wounded in this one-man assault, he refused to be evacuated, and crawling back to his squad, directed machine gun fire and rocket fire on the cave entrances. In the ensuing fight three of his men were wounded and Private First Class Sigler, disregarding the pain from his wound and the heavy enemy fire, carried them to safety behind the lines. Returning to his squad he remained with his men directing their fire until ordered to retire and seek medical aid.
Hospitalized in the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, he was discharged with the rank of private first class in June, 1946 because of disability resulting from his wounds. PFC Sigler died January 20, 1995.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Private First Class Sigler was
awarded the American Campaign Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal; Purple Heart, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Courtesy of the Home of Heroes
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the e seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on 14 March 1945.
Voluntarily taking command of his rifle squad when the leader became a casualty, Private Sigler fearlessly led a bold charge against an enemy gun installation which had held up the advance of his company for several days and, reaching the position in advance of the others, assailed the emplacement with hand grenades and personally annihilated the entire crew.
As additional Japanese troops opened fire from concealed tunnels and caves above, he quickly scaled the rocks leading to the attacking guns, surprised the enemy with a furious 1-man assault and, although severely wounded in the encounter, deliberately crawled back to his squad position where he steadfastly refused evacuation, persistently directing heavy machine-gun and rocket barrages on the Japanese cave entrances.
Undaunted by the merciless rain of hostile fire during the intensified action, he gallantly disregarded his own painful wounds to aid casualties, carrying 3 wounded squad members to safety behind the lines and returning to continue the battle with renewed determination until ordered to retire for medical treatment. Stouthearted and indomitable in the face of extreme peril, Private Sigler, by his alert initiative, unfaltering leadership, and daring tactics in a critical situation, effected the release of his besieged company from enemy fire and contributed essentially to its further advance against a savagely fighting enemy.
His superb valor, resolute fortitude, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice throughout reflect the highest credit upon Private Sigler and the U.S. Naval Service.
Private Sigler died on 20 January 1995 and was buried with full military honors in Section 12, Grave 2799, of Arlington National Cemetery.
NOTE: Private Sigler's brother, William C. Sigler, Private First Class, United States Marine Corps, was killed in World War II and is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.