The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Mike Colalillo, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Friday, December 30, 2011, in Duluth, Minnesota at age 86.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at a ceremony at the White House on December 18, 1945. His heroic action occurred near Untergriesheim, Germany on April 7, 1945. Private First Class Colalillo served as a rifleman in the Second Squad, Second Platoon, Company C, First Battalion, 398th Infantry, 100th Infantry Division.
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action. While he and his company were pinned down under heavy enemy fire, he stood up, shouted to the company to follow, and ran forward in the wake of a supporting tank, firing his machine pistol. Inspired by his example, his comrades advanced in the face of savage enemy fire. He continued to fight and advance against the enemy, using all means of force at his disposal. He then remained behind to help a seriously wounded comrade.
Funeral services are pending. There are 84 recipients alive today.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 and consists exclusively of the living recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. Those who wear this light blue ribbon and Medal around their neck are “recipients” of this prestigious award; they are not “winners.” Although it is common to refer to the Medal as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is simply named the Medal of Honor, although, as stated, the Congress did establish the Society as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.