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 • H. C. Smither Memorial Cemetery
 • Hudgins
 • Mathews County
 • Virginia
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Van Thomas Barfoot
Birth: Jun. 15, 1919
Leake County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Mar. 2, 2012
Henrico County
Virginia, USA

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery near Carano, Italy, on May 23, 1944. His citation reads "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2nd Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers." He was awarded his Medal on September 28, 1944, in Épinal, France. Van Barfoot served in the United States Army during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, rising to the rank of Colonel. 
Family links: 
  Sim F. Barfoot (1883 - 1969)
  Martha E. Barfoot (1884 - 1976)
  Norma Louise Davis Barfoot (1923 - 1992)*
*Calculated relationship
H. C. Smither Memorial Cemetery
Mathews County
Virginia, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 37.4836, -76.3421
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Beth Painter
Record added: Mar 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86143246
Van Thomas Barfoot
Added by: Creative Commons
Van Thomas Barfoot
Added by: Don Morfe
Van Thomas Barfoot
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Diane Riley
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Bravo for heroics as well as 'flying your flag' story too remember it well when it came out & you were 90yo! Never backed down!
 Added: Aug. 26, 2017

- Lazer
 Added: Jun. 25, 2017

- Tracey Reid
 Added: Jun. 15, 2017
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