Medal of Honor recipient Stanley Bender (October 31, 1909-June 22, 1994) was born in Carlisle, Fayette County, the son of a coal miner who had immigrated to America from Russia. By 1930, Bender relocated to Chicago, where he found work as a chauffeur for a department store.
Bender enlisted in the Army in 1939 and saw action in North Africa and Italy. On August 17 1944, as a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, the 3rd Infantry Division, Staff Sergeant Bender encountered a German force near La Lande in southern France. After locating the enemy position, Bender rushed through intense machine gun fire and grenades, and knocked out two German machine guns with rifle fire. His actions inspired the rest of the company to take out a German roadblock, kill 37 enemy soldiers, and take 26 prisoners. For his heroics, Bender was awarded the Medal of Honor on February 1, 1945. Bender also received the French Croix de Guerre, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star, for his war-time service.
After the war, Bender returned to West Virginia and worked for the Veterans Administration in Beckley. In November 1954, a bridge on the West Virginia Turnpike in Fayette County was named the Stanley Bender Memorial Bridge. Bender is buried in the High Lawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill.
This Article was written by Henry Franklin Tribe
Last Revised on December 03, 2015
Brown Judith. This week in Marne History: Week of August 16-22: Staff Sgt. Stanley Bender Earns MOH. The Frontline, August 20, 2009.
Oak Hill War Hero Dies at 85. Charleston Daily Mail, June 24, 1994.
Knight Wallace E.. Dedication of the West Virginia Turnpike. Charleston Gazette, November 9, 1954.
Stutler Boyd. West Virginians Awarded the Medal of Honor. West Virginia History, 17, 1956.
Cite This Article
Tribe, Henry Franklin "Stanley Bender." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 03 December 2015. Web. 26 February 2017.