One of my best professors died a few years ago, but he had been one of the youngest commissioned officers in WWII. You normally had to be 21, but he graduated from a military academy and managed to acquire a commission at 18. He fought with the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, the amphibious assault of Sicily, the invasion of south France and ended up an major in Germany in the crossing of the Rhine. He earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Bronze Star in North Africa, the Silver Star in Sicily, the Purple Heart with 2 clusters, another Bronze Star in France, another Silver Star in Germany, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de Guerre with palm, and the Legion of Merit for the action in Germany where he lost his leg. He served a short time as the commander of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider before he was discharged at the age of 22 to enter college. The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Infantry), Philip B. Larimore (ASN: 0-511609), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding Company L, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 8 April 1945, near Rottershausen, Germany. Leading his company's attack, Major Larimore miraculously eluded the hail of enemy bullets concentrated on him and, in hand-to-hand fighting of which he was the center, killed a German officer at point-blank range. With the unit objective taken, he sent out a patrol. Learning soon after that it was surrounded by enemy forces, he determined to go to its relief. As he ran toward a tank in which to move up, enemy snipers opened fire, but leaping on the back of the vehicle, he ordered it forward and manned the turret machine gun. Firing into the woods and killing several of the enemy, he drew hostile fire on himself as his patrol used the diversion to withdraw. Moving across a clearing with the tank, firing and being fired on all the way, he was struck on the helmet by a sniper bullet and momentarily stunned. Leaping from the tank, he was again hit by enemy fire and severely wounded. Major Larimore, by his heroic leadership and courageous action in diverting the enemy, delivered his comrades from encirclement and greatly aided in securing the battalion objective. Major Larimore's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.