FORREST EUGENE EVERHART SR. (1922 ~ 1986). Medal of Honor recipient Forrest Everhart was born in Bainbridge, Ohio, on August 18, 1922. After graduating from Ohio State University he married Texas native Dorothy Hudson, and they lived in Texas City when he enlisted in 1940.
Everhart served as a Technical Sergeant in Company H, 395th Infantry, Ninetieth Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. His battalion was en route to Normandy on June 6, 1944, when a German torpedo sank their transport, causing them to miss D-Day. Everhart was wounded in the leg on June 13 and had to be hospitalized in England for a month. He was wounded again in August when a piece of shrapnel struck his face under his right eye; a wound which affected his vision for the rest of his life.
On November 12, 1944, while near Kerling, France, Everhart's platoon was subjected to the brunt of a predawn attack. His unit's left flank was overrun by German tanks and its last machine gun position was left in a compromised position. Everhart ran 400 yards through enemy fire to join the machine gunner and direct fire against the enemy. The German infantry advanced and Everhart held them back with a grenade attack which killed 30 enemy soldiers. With the enemy now threatening his right flank, Everhart initiated a grenade duel that killed another 20 enemy soldiers and forced their retreat. His actions kept the German army from advancing on a bridge across the Moselle River, and for his actions Everhart was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Everhart was injured on November 15, still near Kerling, and was evacuated to England before being moved back to the U.S. for continued medical treatment. After receiving the Medal of Honor at the White House in August of 1945, Everhart was given a parade in his hometown of Bainbridge. There he was presented with a jar containing $307, which the small town collected dollar by dollar to show its appreciation.
In 1946, he began a 37 year career with the Veterans Administration in Cincinnati and after retirement was honored with the Distinguished Career award. Everhart died at a hospital in Philadelphia on August 30, 1986, after years of fighting lung cancer. He was survived by his wife and six children and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Bibliography: "Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor in Texas," Capitol Visitors Center, State Preservation Board of Texas. Chillicothe Gazette: August 23, 1945, pg.1; August 24, 1945, pg. 1, 8; August 25, 1945, pg. 1, 3, 12; September 5, 1986, pg. 1. The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association, University of Texas, http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/EE/fevnx.html, September 26, 2005.