A World War II soldier and native of Clinton County, Kentucky, named Garlin Murl Conner, is one step nearer to posthumously being awarded the Medal of Honour.
The Army Board for Correction of Military Records, which is a three-member panel, didn’t listen to the advice of its staff and voted unanimously in late October that the evidence was enough to authorize a recommendation that Conner is awarded the Medal of Honour for actions he took to saves his fellow soldiers’ lives.
An attorney for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Dennis Shepherd, found out on Monday about the panel’s recommendation. Shepherd stated that it is rare for the panel to go against the advice of its staff, which had commented that there was not enough evidence for granting the medal.
The retired Air Force colonel, Dennis Shepherd, has argued on behalf of the Conner family in several proceedings, including a vocal argument in front of the 6th Circuit U.S Court of Appeals.
The Conners are now waiting on a decision from the Senior Army Decorations Board. A letter to Lyda Pauline Conner, Garlin Murl Conner’s widow, said that it could be several months before the board makes a recommendation.
However, Shepherd commented that he thought their chances are pretty good.
He also said he had just received the decision in the mail on Monday, and so has not yet heard a reaction from Garlin Murl Conner’s family.
Garlin Murl Conner, who was a first lieutenant, was awarded four Silver Stars, four Bronze stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in combat in the Second World War.
The Medal of Honour is given by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty. But Garlin Murl Conner did not receive the Medal of Honour.
Corners application was first rejected by the Army in 1997 and again in 2000. Corner died at the age of 79 in 1998.
Since then, three eye-witness statements were presented by Shepherd into evidence to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.
One of those statements was from a sergeant who stated that Corner had directed artillery fire to fall into his own position, wounding 100 German soldiers and killing 50.