JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) honored the late Lt. Col. Milton J. Landry Oct. 29 by dedicating a building in his honor.
Landry, a 1936 Texas A&M graduate whose first duty station was Fort Sam Houston, received the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism while serving with the 36th Infantry Division, then part of Fifth Army, Dec. 15, 1943, near San Pietro Infine, Italy, according to his medal citation.
The then major was recognized for the actions he took leading his battalion in an attack on the enemy-held town, where they were met with strong enemy opposition. His forces suffered heavy casualties caused by intense, accurate enemy cross-fire.
Braving a veritable hail of artillery and small arms fire, Landry reorganized his force, and, displaying utter fearlessness, moved around among the forward elements of his command. Just after dark, he led a second assault mission, but this assault was also stopped by enemy fire and minefields.
During the remainder of the night, Landry made two reconnaissance trips within enemy lines and was wounded in the hand. He reorganized his battalion, now greatly reduced in strength, and made two more attacks, finally reaching the objective with seven officers and thirty-two enlisted men.
With daylight, Landry’s small force was brought under enemy fire from all directions, but he continued to encourage his officers and men to hold their ground despite the fact he was again wounded. The battalion defeated all enemy efforts until they were ordered to withdraw late that afternoon.
At the time of his actions in San Pietro Infine, Landry was just 29 years old.
“Lt. Col. Landry represents the very best of Fifth Army, courageous, selfless, resilient, and caring,” said Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., U.S. Army North commander. “It is very fitting we memorialize this building in his name, as the G7 responsible for training Fifth Army to be the best we can be in defending our great nation.”
Landry’s daughter, Linda Landry, was in attendance at the dedication and expressed her gratitude for the recognition of her father’s contributions to the U.S. Army.
“My father was probably one of the fairest men I have ever met in my entire life,” she said. “He absolutely believed in everything this country stands for. He was proud to be an Aggie, he was proud to be in the service, he was proud to be an Army Soldier.”
Landry said her father spent time in the hospital after he was medically evacuated on his 30th birthday, in 1944, and noted that he credited the medics for ensuring he would eventually be buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and not in Italy.
“I think it is most appropriate that he be memorialized here,” she said. The tri-service Medical Education and Training Campus located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is where medics are trained.
More information on Landry may be found on the dedication plaque located at building 4015, on the corner of Hood and Sustainment Streets on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.