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Welcome to Richmond Hill

Joseph E. Schaefer

Noteworthy People of Richmond Hill, NY

Joseph Edward Schaefer was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. He joined the Army in January 1942, and by September 1944, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company I, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On September 24, 1944, near Stolberg, Germany, Schaefer led his squad in their defense against a German attack. He voluntarily took the most dangerous defensive position, killed many of the attacking soldiers, and single-handedly captured ten. He then participated in the American counter-attack and freed a group of American soldiers captured earlier. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor eleven months later, on August 22, 1945. Schaefer later served in the Korean War and died at age 68. He was buried at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States and Joseph E. Schaefer's actions were certainly above and beyond the call of duty. He is a true hero and his legacy will always be remembered for his bravery and selflessness during the war.

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