He may be one of many fictional superheroes under the Marvel umbrella -- one of whom is due to see his own solo film, Captain America: The First Avenger, hit theaters next month -- but aside from the heroes we make up, there are literally thousands of real soldiers who fought for their countries over the years and gave up their lives defending their fellow soldiers and countrymen. One such military man was Technical Sergeant Llewellyn M. Chilson, who, in February 1946, was awarded a citation for Distinguished Service Cross, which is the second highest military decoration (behind the Medal of Honor) that can be awarded to someone from the United States Army. So what did Chilson do to earn the Distinguished Service Cross? We transcribed the letter below (found via Reddit), which describes just how heroic (and badass) this real-life Captain America was.
"For extraordinary heroism in action on 25 April 1945, in the vicinity of Meilenholen, Germany. Then the enemy opened up with 20mm guns on the company's poistions shortly after entering the town of Meilenholen, Germany, Sergeant Chilson quickly ordered their positions and moved a jeep, armed with a machine gun, to the middle of the street and opened fire. In the ensuing action, he personally knocked out two flak guns, one 88mm gun, rendered another 88 useless by knocking out it's crew and killed approximately 40 enemy riflemen. When out reconnaissance troop advanced to take the town of Zell, they were halted by 20mm flak fire. Sergeant Chilson quickly mounted a motorcycle, abandoned by the enemy, and riding in front of the reconnaissance troop located six more 20mm guns. One flak gun opened fire on him from a distance of about 50 yards and his motorcycle was shot from under him. He hit the dirt, rolled over, jumped to his feet, and ran directly towards the gun position and threw a grenade. This action killed three members of the enemy crew and knocked out the gun. Returning to the lead tank, he directed their fire upon the remaining five flak guns which were subsequently destroyed. Sergeant Chilson has always been an inspiration to the men of his company and is a credit to the United States Armed Forces."
Oh, but that's not all for Chilson. Throughout his military career, he was awarded 16 medals, including (among others) two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and three Distinguished Service Cross. Here's the description for another one of his Distinguished Service Cross medals ...
"For extraordinary heroism in action on 27 April 1945, in Neuberg,Germany. While engaged in taking the town of Neuberg, Germany, Sergeant Chilson and his platoon were halted by intense automatic weapons fire coming from a second story apartment house. Realizing that unless the enemy was knocked out immediately a large number of casualties would be inflicted upon his platoon, Sergeant Chilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, rushed across the fire-swept street and into the house. Racing up the stairs to the second floor, he tossed a high explosive grenade into the room killing two members of the enemy machine gun crew and capturing eight. He then called his platoon forward and they occupied the building without a casualty. Later, as one of his squads was moving into the next house, they were halted by automatic rifle fire which came from a courtyard. Again Sergeant Chilson came forward, and tossing a white phosphorous grenade into the courtyard, assaulted the enemy position. Firing his carbine with his left hand after being wounded in the right arm by an enemy bullet, he killed two of the enemy and captured a third. His daring and utter disregard for his own personal safety is worthy of the highest praise and is a credit to himself and the armed forces."
Chilson died in 1981. Read about all of his incredible acts of heroism over here.