Pottawattamie County

S/Sgt. Donald J. Gaffery



S. Sgt. Donald J. Gaffery, Council Bluffs, is receiving here the solder’s medal from col. Dan Riley, commander of the 11th special troops, 4th army, at a recent ceremony. The citation read: “Awarded the soldier’s medal for heroism not involving actual conflict on 5 May 1945 in Germany. Without thought for his own personal safety, Pfc. John E. Lovick [of Stafford, Pa.] and S. Sgt. Gaffery rushed their men to safety when four rail cars of captured German powder suddenly burst into flames. Thinking only of the safety of others the rushed to the blaze and without hesitation they uncoupled three cars of heavy ammunition from the blazing power cars and rushed in aiding the removal of them before they could burn and explode, and perhaps cause the death of a number of their men. They then returned to the blazing car and rushed their men to further safety, pushing the slower men in front of them. Although they were severely burned about the neck and had the other men all were saved through their courageous and timely action. (Army signal corps photo.)

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday, October 22, 1945, Page 3