Sergeant First Class Christos H. Karaberis 31176795
Sergeant First Class Christos H. Karaberis AKA Chris Carr 31176795 Medal of Honor US Army. He was born on April 6, 1914 in Manchester, New Hampshire the son of Thomas Elaine Maofis Koutsandreas. He entered the US army on October 21, 1942 at the age of 28. He served in Company L, 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division. He earned the Medal of Honor on October 1 and 2, 1944 for extraordinary heroism capture Casoni di Romagna hill, which was heavily defended by the enemy. A week after the action that earned him the the Medal of Honor he was wounded in the leg. After the war, he legally changed his name from “Christos Karaberis” to “Chris Carr”. He reached the rank of sergeant first class and served in the Korean War before leaving the Army. He was Awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star Medal with V and Oak Leaf cluster, the Purple Heart Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, The American Theater of operations, the European Theater of Operations Medal ETO with battle stars, the World War Two Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal. At the time of his death he was living in Huntington Beach, he died on September 21, 1970, at the age of 56 he is burred at Los Angeles National Cemetery.
War Department, Press Releases
The story of how the courage of one Infantryman, who went on a rampage with a submachinegun, contributed to the capture of Casoni di Romagna hill in Italy wag unfolded today in an announcement by the War Department,
The heroic Doughboy is Sergeant Christos H, Karaberis of Hillsboro, New Hampshire, known to his buddies in the 85th Infantry (Custer) Division and more particularly to the Germans as a “one—man wave of destruction.”
Sergeant Karaberis is credited with capturing five German machinegun positions and 21 prisoners, and killing eight enemy soldiers the night of October 1, 1944.
In a detailed account of his heroic action, the young Infantryman platoon leader, 1st Lieutenant Dennis J, Stack, told how Sergeant Karaberis singlehandedly cleared a ridge studded with enemy machinegun emplacements, “to tear a hole in the German lines through which his battalion and regiment were able to pour without a single casualty.”
“Company L had received orders to attack and capture Casoni di Romagna hill, which was heavily defended by the enemy, as was the ridge leading to this hill from the south,” the officer continued. “After crossing numerous gullies and deep draws the company was pinned down by enemy fire on the eastern slope of the ridge.
“The company’s position was 4000 yards from the objective, Machineguns, machine pistols, rifles and mortars on the ridge dropped a curtain of devastating fire between the company and the enemy—held high ground.”
The Infantry assaulters were able to move only 75 to 100 yards when they were halted by German machinegun fire from emplacements covering all approaches to the ridge, both frontally and on the flanks, according to Lt. Stack.
“Sergeant Karaberis immediately realized that the machineguns which were impeding our advance must be wiped out, the officer said. “Without a moment’s hesitation and knowing the danger that lay ahead of him, the sergeant turned over control of his squad to the assistant squad leader, shouting: ”Have the squad follow me. I’ll get ’em myself.
Then, according to Lt. Stack, the New Hampshire Doughboy crept forward with his submachine gun as enemy fire cracked and whined around him and bullets ricocheted off the rocks affording him cover.
Sergeant Karaberis worked his way to the rear of the first German machinegun nest and attacked it, taking its entire crew of eight men prisoners. Turning over the prisoners to his squad, he then proceeded under murderous fire to the second nest, 350 yards away. He charged the position in a crouching, weaving run, blazing away with his tommy—gun and killing four of the crew. A fifth German threw up his hands in terror and surrendered.
“Keep following me, he shouted back to his squad, as he began a 500-yard trek over the rocky slope to silence a third Nazi machinegun nest. A short burst from his tommy—gun brought the quick surrender of a crew of four men, including one officer. Turning over the new prisoners to his squad, Sergeant Karaberis struck out again.
“Alternately creeping and crawling, and madly dashing across open spaces, the sergeant worked his way to the next Nazi position, Lt. Stack revealed. “Sweeping the position with a series of furious bursts from his tommy—gun, he charged. Four of the German crew lay dead when the sergeant sprang upon the three remaining survivors, taking them prisoners.”
Then the fearless Doughboy was treated to an unusual sight in the semi—light of the early morning.
Six Germans in an adjoining machinegun nest, convinced they were being attacked by an overwhelming force, appeared in the mist with their hands up and stood cowering before the sergeant’s tommy—gun.
Besides the commendation of his platoon leader, Sergeant Karaberis, the son of Arthur Karaberis, of 431 Cypress Street in Hillsboro, also received high praise from Major General John B. Coulter of the 85th Division, who declared:
“His brilliant leadership and willing self—sacrifice offered the finest example to the men of his entire regiment, and by voluntarily meeting and overcoming one known hazard after another, he contributed beyond measure to the successful accomplishment of his regiment mission.
Medal of Honor CITATION:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Chris Carr, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on October 1 and 2, 1944, while serving with Company L, 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division, in action at Guignola, Italy Leading a squad of Company L, Sergeant Carr gallantly cleared the way for his company’s approach along a ridge toward its objective, the Casoni di Remagna. When his platoon was pinned down by heavy fire from enemy mortars, machineguns, machine pistols, and rifles, he climbed in advance of his squad on a maneuver around the left flank to locate and eliminate the enemy gun positions. Undeterred by deadly fire that ricocheted off the barren rocky hillside, he crept to the rear of the first machinegun and charged, firing his submachine gun. In this surprise attack he captured eight prisoners and turned them over to his squad before striking out alone for a second machinegun. Discovered in his advance and subjected to direct fire from the hostile weapon, he leaped to his feet and ran forward, weaving and crouching, pouring automatic fire into the emplacement that killed four of its defenders and forced the surrender of a lone survivor. He again moved forward through heavy fire to attack a third machinegun. When close to the emplacement, he closed with a nerve-shattering shout and burst of fire. Paralyzed by his whirlwind attack, all four gunners immediately surrendered. Once more advancing aggressively in the face of a thoroughly alerted enemy, he approached a point of high ground occupied by two machineguns which were firing on his company on the slope below. Charging the first of these weapons, he killed four of the crew and captured three more. The six defenders of the adjacent position, cowed by the savagery of his assault, immediately gave up. By his one-man attack, heroically and voluntarily undertaken in the face of tremendous risks, Sergeant Karaberis captured five enemy machinegun positions, killed eight Germans, took 22 prisoners, cleared the ridge leading to his company’s objective, and drove a deep wedge into the enemy line, making it possible for his battalion to occupy important, commanding ground.(Chris Carr’s name legally changed from CHRISTOS H. KARABERIS, under which name the medal was awarded )
Although he has a WWII Jewish Servicemen Cards, his 1970 gravestone has a cross on it.
U.S., War Department, Press Releases and Related Records, 1942-1945
WWII Jewish Servicemen Cards, 1942-1947
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006
U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS