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"We don't give the medal of honor to Jews"


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David Rubitsky, is an American Jew that single handedly held a captured bunker in New Guinea during WW2 killing between 500 and 600 Japanese soldiers in a 21 hour span of heavy siege. He was recommended for TWO Medals of Honor by his superiors but was never decorated for his heroism. The Lt. Colonel who reviewed his papers said "We don't give the Congressional Medal of Honor to Jews" and to this day he has not been honored for his heroism and bravery. He's currently 82 years old and hopefully in his lifetime he will be decorated and rightfully so.


Sgt. David Rubitsky was asked to lay a communications wire connecting his battalion command post to a rat-infested, enemy-threatened outpost in a New Guinea swamp on Dec. 1, 1942.


The outpost was actually a former Japanese bunker won by American troops in recent fighting. Built with coconut logs and concrete reinforced with steel plate, it was four to five feet in height, 30-feet long and 10-feet wide.


When Rubitsky and an officer traveling with him arrived at the remote bunker, the three U.S. soldiers manning it said Japanese troops were moving into the area. They decided to flee and advised Rubitsky and Capt. Joseph Stehling to do the same.


Rubitsky decided to stay. And thus began his amazing story of heroism that has yet to be fully rewarded and recognized by his country even 59 years later.


Rubitsky watched the Japanese soldiers move small artillery pieces, heavy machine guns, mortars and anti-aircraft armaments into the area. He watched as more and more soldiers gathered. Anticipating a surprise attack by the Japanese on his 2nd Battalion, Rubitsky decided to lead his own surprise attack.


He opened fire. As Japanese soldiers advanced toward his bunker, Rubitsky used every weapon in his arsenal for nine grueling hours of intense fighting. He alternated between firing his .30-caliber water-cooled machine gun with 3,000 rounds of ammunition, a Browning automatic rifle with close to 600 rounds, his M-1 rifle, a pistol and tossing some of his 35 hand grenades.


Rubitsky spent a total of 21 hours in the bunker -- including nine under heavy siege. The Japanese army attacked from three different directions -- the north, south and west. His bunker had slits on all sides, making it possible for him to respond to an attack from any direction. He switched from gun to gun and threw grenades at the enemy, while the Japanese alternately charged his position and shelled it with light artillery.


When the fighting was over, Rubitsky was bleeding from the mouth, nose and elsewhere and suffering from multiple concussions from the shelling. But the Japanese were a lot worse off.


When Lt. Col. Herbert Smith came up to the bunker the next day, he estimated that Rubitsky had single-handedly killed 500 to 600 Japanese soldiers, thereby saving his own battalion from being decimated in a surprise attack.


That same month, Smith and Stehling recommended Rubitsky for the Medal of Honor.


But Rubitsky didn't get the medal. The late Maj. Gen. Smith, Brig. Gen. Stehling and three other soldiers from the 128th Infantry, the 2nd Battalion and the 32nd Division in New Guinea all concluded that the reason Rubitsky did not get the award was anti-Semitism.


Smith stated, before he died in 1989, that after referring the recommendation up the chain of command he was told by a lieutenant colonel: "We don't give Jews the Congressional Medal of Honor."


But the story doesn't end there.


Today Rubitsky is 82 years old. He spent a total of 40 years in active military service. He is currently a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans.


He and those who love him want to see this injustice righted.


Evelyn Smith, the widow of Gen. Smith, has written a notarized statement regarding her husband's support of Rubitsky: "My husband told me that Sgt. David Rubitsky deserved to win the Congressional Medal a second time in Leyte, Philippines, for knocking out seven machine gun nests, killing nearly 200 or more Japanese soldiers. ?"


As for Rubitsky, himself, he says his lobbying for the medal at this stage is simply a matter of principle.


"What really matters is why I didn't get the medal," he says. "I'm doing it for the principle and the truth, not the medal and not the money. It's for every man, whether black, green, or purple. If he wears the uniform, he should get what's coming to him. He shouldn't have to fight for it."


There's talk of a movie being made about David Rubitsky. But before the full story can really be told -- on the big screen or elsewhere -- it needs a happy ending.


Editor's note: You can learn more about David Rubitsky at his website http://www.rubitsky.com



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