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Britt Maurice Lee “Footsie”

Maurice Lee “Footsie”  Britt
First Lieutenant
Serial Number:
30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division
Date of Death:
Little Rock National Cemetery, Arkansas
Section 20,
Medal of Honor; Distinguished Service Cross; Silver Star; Purple Heart

Captain Britt won the Medal of Honor while leading his soldiers defending Monte Rotondo against a numerically superior enemy. Taken partially From the University of Arkansas about Captain Britt: Maurice "Footsie" Britt was born in Carlisle, Arkansas on June 29, 1919. He attended the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1941 after enjoying a successful college athletic career in both basketball and football. After one season of playing professional football with the Detroit Lions, Britt was called to active duty in the United States Army in December, 1941. As a platoon Leader and Company Commander in the Third Infantry Division (Company L, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division), Britt took part in the African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns. He was seriously wounded on February 12, 1944, loosing his right arm and for his battlefield exploits Britt won numerous decorations including the Congressional Medal of Honor. He won the Medal of Honor on Monte Rotondo, just north of Mignano, Italy on November 10, 1943. Following a peacetime career in manufacturing, Britt ran a successful campaign for lieutenant governor of Arkansas in 1966, an office he held until 1970. Afterwards he accepted a position as District Director of the Small Business Administration, 1971-1985, and made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1986. MEDAL HONOR CITATION: for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Disdaining enemy hand grenades and close-range machine pistol, machinegun, and rifle, Lt. Britt inspired and led a handful of his men in repelling a bitter counterattack by approximately 100 Germans against his company positions north of Mignano, Italy, the morning of 10 November 1943. During the intense fire fight, Lt. Britt's canteen and field glasses were shattered; a bullet pierced his side; his chest, face, and hands were covered with grenade wounds. Despite his wounds, for which he refused to accept medical attention until ordered to do so by his battalion commander following the battle, he personally killed 5 and wounded an unknown number of Germans, wiped out one enemy machinegun crew, fired 5 clips of carbine and an undetermined amount of Ml rifle ammunition, and threw 32 fragmentation grenades. His bold, aggressive actions, utterly disregarding superior enemy numbers, resulted in capture of 4 Germans, 2 of them wounded, and enabled several captured Americans to escape. Lt. Britt's undaunted courage and prowess in arms were largely responsible for repulsing a German counterattack which, if successful, would have isolated his battalion and destroyed his company.