Cherokee County

S/Sgt. Marvin O. Otto




Soldiers Medal Award To Sgt. Marvin Otto

An Eighth AAF Bomber Station, England—

The Soldiers Medal has been awarded to Staff Sergeant Marvin 0. Otto, 24-year-old ordnance worker from Aurelia, Iowa, for courageous action in the face of danger at this Eighth AAF Flying Fortress bomber base in England.

Sgt. Otto won the award when a battered bomber returned to this station with a live bomb stuck in the bomb bay that could have exploded . Without hesitation, the Iowa ground soldier set to work to defuse the bomb and render it harmless despite the fact that sparking wires could ignite leaking gasoline and start a fire, or ignite the bomb fuse, and the bomb could have dropped from its rack and exploded.

"All I remember thinking of was the hope that nothing would happen until I got the fuse out of the bomb," said Sgt. Otto, who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Otto, of Aurelia. At this busy bomber base, Sgt. Otto is one of the men who supervises the "bombing up" of the Fortresses before they take  off for targets in Nazi Europe.

The official citation commented on "the courage, coolness and skill displayed by Sgt. Otto "when he defused the bomb and cited his "action as a credit to himself and the Armed Forces of the United States."

Source: Aurelia Sentinel, June 15, 1944