FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Matt Bevin will be joined by the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs during a ceremony to unveil the Medal of Honor plaque honoring First Lieutenant Garlin Murl Conner at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.
Conner, of Clinton County, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald J. Trump on June 26 of this year. A member of the 3rd Infantry Division, 7th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, K Company, First Lieutenant Conner passed away in 1998 at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife, Pauline Conner, who will attend Tuesday's ceremony.
Conner was honored for voluntarily risking his life on multiple occasions during combat operations while serving as an intelligence staff officer with the 3rd Infantry Division near the town of Houssen, France, when German formations converged on their position.
On Jan. 24, 1945, he voluntarily left his position of relative safety to place himself in a better position to direct artillery fire onto the assaulting enemy infantry and armor, according to the announcement.
For three hours he remained in an exposed and dangerous position 30 yards ahead of the defending force, directing artillery fire, despite the enemy closing within five yards of his position. His actions, according to the announcement, repelled the enemy forces.
During the ceremony, President Trump said of Conner, “He embodied the pure, patriotic love that builds and sustains a nation. Today, we pay tribute to this Kentucky farm boy who stated down evil with the strength of a warrior and the heart of a true hero.”
During his World War II service, Conner also earned the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts and the French Croix de Guerre. He was also wounded seven times.
The President quoted Lloyd Ramsey, Conner’s commanding officer, as saying, “I have never seen a man with as much courage and ability as he had. I usually don’t brag on my officers, but this is one officer nobody could brag enough about and do him justice. He was a real soldier.”
Trump added: “Garlin Murl Conner was indeed a giant in his daring, his devotion and his duty. He was larger than life. He will never, ever, be forgotten. We will never forget his story.”