Saturday, May 28, 2005

Los Angeles National Cemetery, Memorial Day Weekend 2005

Christos Karaberis (Chris Carr)

Following up my post below, my son and I, together with a group of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and their adult leaders, stood today at the grave of Chris Carr, who died in 1970. Born on April 16, 1914, he was 30 years old when the events that led to his receving the Medal of Honor took place. He has been in the service since 1942.

We listened as the following citation was read:

CARR, CHRIS (name legally changed from CHRISTOS H. KARABERIS, under which name the medal was awarded)

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 337th Infantry, 85th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Guignola, Italy, 1-2 October 1944. Entered service at: Manchester, N.H. Birth: Manchester, N.H. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.

Citation: Leading a squad of Company L, he gallantly cleared the way for his company's approach along a ridge toward its objective, the Casoni di Remagna. When his platoon was pinned down by heavy fire from enemy mortars, machineguns, machine pistols, and rifles, he climbed in advance of his squad on a maneuver around the left flank to locate and eliminate the enemy gun positions. Undeterred by deadly fire that ricocheted off the barren rocky hillside, he crept to the rear of the first machinegun and charged, firing his submachinegun. In this surprise attack he captured 8 prisoners and turned them over to his squad before striking out alone for a second machinegun. Discovered in his advance and subjected to direct fire from the hostile weapon, he leaped to his feet and ran forward, weaving and crouching, pouring automatic fire into the emplacement that killed 4 of its defenders and forced the surrender of a lone survivor. He again moved forward through heavy fire to attack a third machinegun. When close to the emplacement, he closed with a nerve-shattering shout and burst of fire. Paralyzed by his whirlwind attack, all 4 gunners immediately surrendered. Once more advancing aggressively in the face of a thoroughly alerted enemy, he approached a point of high ground occupied by 2 machineguns which were firing on his company on the slope below. Charging the first of these weapons, he killed 4 of the crew and captured 3 more. The 6 defenders of the adjacent position, cowed by the savagery of his assault, immediately gave up. By his l-man attack, heroically and voluntarily undertaken in the face of tremendous risks, Sgt. Karaberis captured 5 enemy machinegun positions, killed 8 Germans, took 22 prisoners, cleared the ridge leading to his company's objective, and drove a deep wedge into the enemy line, making it possible for his battalion to occupy important, commanding ground.

(According to this web site, "After the war, Karaberis legally changed his name to Chris Carr and continued in service through the Korean Conflict. Karaberis (Carr) died in Los Angeles, California on September 16, 1970 and is buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.")

After a few moments of contemplation, one of the younger Scouts placed an American flag one boot-length in front of Mr. Carr's gravestone while all present saluted or held a hand over their hearts.

As I left the cemetery that day, I said to myself the same thing I always say at that point: "I am so glad I came."


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