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During World War II, Michael N. SHAY, Jr. was inducted into the U.S. Army in November of 1942 from Sedgwick County, Kansas. He was assigned to the Headquarters Battery of the 73rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion with the 9th Armored Division. Michael and his battalion were involved in the Battle of the Bulge.

In a letter to the family, dated October 15, 1945, Major General Edward WITSELL informed them that Michael would be posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, under the direction of the President.

Michael was being awarded "for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operation against an armed enemy in Belgium. On 18 December, 1944, when a company of enemy infantry attacked and surrounded the town of Margaret, Belgium, Sergeant SHAY organized a group of men as machine gunners and led them in a spirited defense. When ordered to attempt to escape through enemy lines, he courageously volunteered to remain behind and cover the other men in their withdrawal. Although killed in this action, he diverted the attention of the hostile forces long enough to permit his comrades to withdraw safely. Sergeant SHAY's gallant and self-sacrificing actions and supreme devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest tradition of the military service.

SSgt. SHAY was interred at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapell, Belgium; Plot F, Row 14, Grave 4.

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) Th Michael N. SHAY, Jr. (37237068), Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Headquarters Battery, 73d Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Armored Division, in action against enemy forces on 18 Dec, 1944. Sergeant SHAY's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the Military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 9th Armored Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, 3rd U.S. Army, General Orders No. 206, 1945
Home Town: Sedgwick County, Kansas

NOTE: Michael N. SHAY, Jr. was the son of Michael N. & Lulu Portia (MARTIN) SHAY; the grandson of William Henry and Anna Margaret (HART) SHAY; and, the great-grandson of Luke and Julia (WHELAN) SHAY of Maloy.

Maloy Centennial book, p. 95

Submission and note by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2010



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