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Art Leatherwood

TURNER, GEORGE BENTON (1899–1963). George Benton Turner, Medal of Honor recipient, was born on June 27, 1899, at Longview, the son of Gaines and Emme (Riche) Turner. He studied liberal arts at Wentworth College (Lexington, Missouri) but left in 1918 without taking a degree. Turner then joined the military and served during World War I. About 1928 he moved to Los Angeles County, California, where he worked as a secretary in a law office and filled orders in a wholesale grocery chain store. He joined the army in Los Angeles in the fall of 1942. Private Turner was a member of Battery C, 499th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, Fourteenth Armored Division. On January 3, 1945, at Philippsbourg, France, he was cut off from his artillery unit by an enemy armored infantry attack. He joined up with a friendly infantry company, which was withdrawing. Seeing two German tanks and approximately seventy-five supporting foot soldiers, he seized a rocket launcher, and while under intense small arms fire advanced to meet the tanks. Standing in the middle of the road he fired at them, destroying one and disabling the other. From a nearby half-track he then dismounted a light machine gun, placed it in the open street, and opened fire on the advancing infantrymen, killing or wounding many and breaking up the attack. In the American counterattack that followed two American tanks were disabled. Firing a light machine gun from the hip, Turner held off the enemy so that the crews of the disabled vehicles could extricate themselves. One of the tanks was on fire, and Turner ran through a hail of enemy fire to assist one of the crew. The tank exploded and wounded him. Refusing to be evacuated he remained with the infantry until the following day, driving off an enemy patrol, assisting in capturing a hostile strong point, and driving a truck through heavy enemy fire to deliver wounded men to a rear aid station. The courage and heroic initiative of Private Turner contributed to the defense of the French town. Turner died on June 29, 1963, in Encino, California. His ashes were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He was survived by his wife, Lucille K. Turner.

Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Art Leatherwood, "TURNER, GEORGE BENTON," accessed April 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ftuqg.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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