Medal of Honor winner, Junction City native Ehlers dies at 92
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers has died at 92.
Ehlers, originally from Junction City, died Thursday of kidney failure in Long Beach, Calif. He was the final surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor who had been involved in the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II.
According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Ehlers was honored for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” on June 9 and 10, 1944, near Goville, France.
“Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.”
On D-Day, Ehlers was a staff sergeant and squad leader in the 18th Infantry Regiment in the 1st Infantry Division.
In 2009, Walter Ehlers participated in a veterans panel at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene in an event marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
Ehlers was born May 7, 1921, in Junction City.