Private First Class Franklin Earl Sigler earned the Medal of Honor during the Iwo Jima campaign in a one-man assault on a Japanese gun position which had been holding up the advance of his company for several days, and for annihilating the enemy gun crew with hand grenades. Although painfully wounded during his attack, he directed the fire of his squad and personally carried three of his buddies who were wounded to safety behind the lines.
The nation's highest military decoration was presented to PFC Sigler during ceremonies at the White House. President Harry S. Truman awarded the medal to him on Friday, 5 October 1945.
Franklin Earl Sigler was born in Montclair, New Jersey, 6 November 1924. The family later moved to Little Falls, New Jersey, where he attended Little Falls High School prior to his enlistment in the Marine Corps on 23 March 1943.
Completing his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, Pvt Sigler was next transferred to the Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, in June 1943.
In April 1944 he joined Company F, 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, and in July he embarked aboard the USS Clay for Hilo, Hawaii. Later, he sailed for Iwo Jima where he earned the Medal of Honor on 14 March 1945.
Private Sigler took command of his squad when his squad leader became a casualty and unhesitatingly lead them in a bold rush against an enemy gun position that had been holding up the advance of his company for several days.
Reaching the gun position first, he personally annihilated the gun crew with grenades. When more enemy troops began firing from tunnels and caves leading to the gun position, he, without consideration for his own safety, successfully scaled the rocks leading up to the position and single-handedly assaulted the Japanese, completely surprising them.
Although wounded, he refused to be evacuated, and crawling back to his squad, directed machine gun fire and rocket fire on the cave entrances. In the ensuing fight three of his men were wounded and Pvt Sigler, disregarding the pain from his wound and the heavy enemy fire, carried them to safety behind the lines. Returning to his squad he remained with his men directing their fire until ordered to retire and seek medical aid.
Hospitalized in the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, he was discharged with the rank of private first class in June 1946 because of disability resulting from his wounds.
Private First Class Sigler died 20 January 1995 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, PFC Sigler was awarded the American Campaign Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; Purple Heart; and the World War II Victory Medal.
World War II 1941-1945 Medal of Honor