Carlos Carnes Odgen, Sr. – Major, United States Army

Carlos Ogden, WWII hero, dies at 83

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA — Carlos Ogden, who earned the Medal of Honor for an attack on a German gun emplacement during World War II, has died at a Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto. He was 83. Ogden died Monday after
several strokes and a long battle with cancer.

He almost died back on June 25, 1944. On that day, First Lieutenant Ogden
single-handedly knocked out a German 88mm cannon and machine-gun nest near
Cherbourg, France, despite being wounded, shot twice through the helmet and lying unconscious for a time with a live grenade in one hand.

“His unit was going up a hill to put this 88mm cannon out of commission,” his wife, Louise, told the San Jose Mercury News. “There also were two machine guns up there. The Germans were killing his men, and Carlos decided something had to be done about it. So he went up the hill alone.”

Ogden was a native of Illinois and a graduate of Eastern Illinois State University, but chose to settle in San Jose after the war, where he worked as a counselor for the Veterans Administration.

In 1950, the Republican Party asked him to run for Congress, but he turned it down because he didn’t want to give up his job with the VA. Governor Ronald Reagan appointed Ogden to head the state Selective Service operation in 1967.

Ogden is survived by his wife, four sons, five grandchildren, two step-grand children and one great-grandchild.

Services were pending. There are now 149 living Medal of Honor winners.

Major Odgen was buried with full military honor in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 65, Grave 533).

Carlos Carnes Ogden, Sr.

BORN:  May 09, 1917 at Borton, Illinois
Entered Service in the U.S. Army from Fairmount, Illinois

Earned The Medal of Honor During the World War II For heroism on June 25, 1944 at Fort du Roule, Cherbourg, France

DIED: April 2, 2001 at the age of 83

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Fort du Roule, France, 25 June 1944. Entered service at: Fairmont, Illinois. Born: 19 May 1917, Borton, Illinois. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945.


On the morning of 25 June 1944, near Fort du Roule, guarding the approaches to Cherbourg, France, First Lieutenant Ogden’s company was pinned down by fire from a German 88-mm. gun and 2 machineguns. Arming himself with an M-1 rifle, a grenade launcher, and a number of rifle and handgrenades, he left his company in position and advanced alone, under fire, up the slope toward the enemy emplacements.

Struck on the head and knocked down by a glancing machinegun bullet, Lieutenant Ogden, in spite of his painful wound and enemy fire from close range, continued up the hill. Reaching a vantage point, he silenced the 88mm. gun with a well-placed rifle grenade and then, with handgrenades, knocked out the 2 machineguns, again being painfully wounded. Lieutenant Ogden’s heroic leadership and indomitable courage in alone silencing these enemy weapons inspired his men to greater effort and cleared the way for the company to continue the advance and reach its objectives.


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