September 29, 1918 – Michael Valente Medal of Honor recipient (February 5, 1895 – January 10, 1976) was an Italian-born American soldier who served the United States Army in World War I. He received the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in France on September 29, 1918.
Private Valente‘s official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Finding the advance of his organization held up by a withering enemy machinegun fire, Private Valente volunteered to go forward. With utter disregard of his own personal danger, accompanied by another soldier, Private Valente rushed forward through an intense machinegun fire directly upon the enemy nest, killing two and capturing five of the enemy and silencing the gun. Discovering another machinegun nest close by which was pouring a deadly fire on the American forces, preventing their advance, Private Valente and his companion charged upon this strong point, killing the gunner and putting this machinegun out of action. Without hesitation they jumped into the enemy’s trench, killed two and captured 16 German soldiers. Private Valente was later wounded and sent to the rear.