JAMES H. FIELDS (1920 ~ 1970). Medal of Honor recipient James H. Fields was born in Caddo, Texas, on June 26, 1920, and graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas.
After he was drafted into the Army in 1942, Fields rose to the rank of First Lieutenant as a member of the Tenth Armored Infantry, Fourth Armored Division. His unit landed in France on June 11, 1944.
On September 27, near Rechicourt, France, Fields led his platoon on a counter-attack against an enemy position and was hit by enemy fire while attending to a wounded man. He was wounded by shrapnel, which rendered him unable to speak. Refusing to be evacuated, Fields continued to lead the attack with the use of hand signals. His advance was stopped by two enemy machine guns which pinned his men down. Though wounded, Fields ran to a machine gun whose crew had been killed, seized the gun, and fired on the enemy emplacements, killing both crews. His personal courage emboldened his men to brave enemy fire and overrun the enemy position. After completing his mission, Fields consented to be evacuated for medical treatment. Only 11 of Fields 55 men survived the attack.
Following the War, Fields became an independent oil operator in Texas. He was a National Aide De Camp in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was responsible for bringing 220 Medal of Honor recipients together for their biennial convention. Fields died in Houston on June 17, 1970, and was survived by his wife Mathilde and their three children. He is buried in Houston National Cemetery.
Bibliography: 4th Armored Division Memorial, http://webplaza.pt.lu/gries/history.html, October 7, 2003. "Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor in Texas," Capitol Visitors Center, State Preservation Board of Texas. Dallas Morning News: August 16, 1945. Houston Post: June 18, 1970.