Samuel Marion Medbourn Sr
1917 Samuel Marion Medbourn is born October 4, 1917 to Harry Edward Medbourn and Nellie Faye Harcourt Medbourn
of Culver, Indiana
1937 Graduates from Culver Military Academy; attends University of Illinois on football scholarship;
1937 - August 10 - marries Betty Caroline Fisher on August
Attends Fort Wayne Business School; joins his father’s [
Harry Edward Medbourn] Culver City Grain & Coal Company business [formerly the MEDBOURN COAL AND ICE COMPANY
of Culver and Logansport, Indiana.]
1939 Daughter, Sally Anne Medbourn, born October 12, 1939
1941 Enters the US Army as a Second Lieutenant
1942 Daughter, Susan Elizabeth Medbourn, born July 29, 1942
1943 Son, Samuel Marion Medbourn Jr., born November 9, 1943
October 4, 1944. Medbourn was promoted from Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant to Captain to Major and landed as
a Major with the Yankee [26th] Division in Cherbourg on October 4 [his birthday], 1944 The 26th Infantry [Yankee] Division
was assigned to III Corps of the Ninth United States Army, Twelfth United States Army Group. It was shipped from the United
States directly to France, and was never sent to Britain. The 26th Infantry Division began landing in France at Cherbourg and
Utah Beach on 7 September 1944, but did not enter combat as a division until a month later. Elements were on patrol duty
along the coast from Carteret to Siouville from 13 to 30 September.
October 5 to March, 1945. Major Medbourn commanded the Second Battalion[*] of the 328th Infantry Regiment in France
which was part of the 26th Infantry Division of the US Army. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Heroism in Action for
reconnoitering a suspected German-held town; then ordering artillery and his battalion to attack and conquer the German
forces surrounding the town. On the battlefield in Germany, Major Medbourn was promoted by General Patton to the rank
of Lt. Colonel.
Betty Medbourn reports that the Colonel or Lt. Colonel who was commanding the 2d battalion of the 328th regiment was
wounded or killed and Major Medbourn was promoted to Lt. Colonel on the battlefield and assumed command of the
battalion at that point.
Dad was reluctant to talk about the war, but I recall two German expressions he mentioned: something like SCHNELL [“fast“]
and RAUSCHMITEM [“out with them”]. I recall Dad saying that US soldiers were instructed, when in the heat of battle, not
to take prisoners, but rather, to disable them by shooting them in the foot, then to forge ahead.
Medbourn's wife, BETTY CAROLINE FISHER MEDBOURN recalls the following:
Sam landed at Cherbourg on his birthday, October 4, 1944 under the command of Major Willard S. Paul Paul [former Culver
Military Academy professor of Military Science and Tactics] when Sam Medbourn and Bruce Kixmiller were roommates there.
Major General Paul recognized the leadership qualities in the men and from 1941 to 1944 had them moved from base to base
in the US to train new troops. General Paulthen had both men assigned to his cadre, in the Yankee [26th] Division, landing in
Cherbourg on October 4, 1944.
Betty recalls that Sam was promoted from Major to Lt. Colonel — on the battlefield in Germany — by General Patton when
Sam’s commanding officer was wounded or killed.
He was wounded in action in Germany during the Battle of the Ardennes [Battle of the Bulge]. He was sent to hospitals
in France, then England, then to Cleveland Clinic for surgery in March, 1945.
Sam dived into a foxhole, wounding his knee and leg. He was shipped to hospitals in France, then England and finally to
Cleveland Clinic where he underwent surgery.
Betty recalls Sam telling her that, while digging himself deeper into the foxhole, his runner rushed up carrying Major Medbourn’s
officer clipboard and materials [thus signaling to the enemy that an officer was in the foxhole] to inquire if Sam needed help to
which Sam replied in no uncertain terms [very colorful metaphors], that the runner should “move on.”
Upon landing in New York from England in March of 1945, Sam called Betty at home [416 Lake Street, Culver, Indiana] and there
was no answer. He got through to the town’s only operator, Lily Buswell, explaining that he was trying to reach his wife. Culver is a
small town and Lily knew immediately who Sam Medbourn was and where his wife was! She said [probably screamed] “Just a
minute!” Then came back on the line with “She’s playing bridge at Dotty Osborne’s! I’ll put you through!” Betty got up from the
bridge table and took the phone call. The rest is history.
He was awarded The Bronze Star for Heroism, the American Defense Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the European
Theater Ribbon, and three bronze battle stars.
End-of-Bulge commendation letter from Major General Willard S. Paul to his Yankee Division soldiers:
"When you initially attacked for seven days and nights without halting for rest, you met and defeated twice your own number.
Your advance required the enemy to turn fresh divisions against you, and you in turn hacked them to pieces as you ruthlessly
cut your way deep into the flank of the "bulge." Your feats of daring and endurance in the sub-freezing weather and snow-clad
mountains and gorges of Luxembourg are legion; your contribution to the relief of Bastogne was immeasurable. It was particularly
fitting that the elimination of the "bulge" should find the Yankee Division seizing and holding firmly on the same line held by our
own forces prior to the breakthrough. I am proud of this feat by you as well as those you performed earlier. We shall advance
on Berlin together."
-------Feb. 1, 1945 Headquarters 26th Infantry Division, W. S. Paul, Major General, U.S. Army Commanding
Sally Anne Medbourn