Walter Ehlers was born May 7, 1921, in Junction City, Kansas. In October 1940 Ehlers and his brother Roland enlisted in the U.S. Army and were deployed to North Africa. After fighting in North Africa and the Mediterranean they were reassigned to England. Before the D-Day invasion the brothers were split up and assigned to different units. On June 9, 1944, Ehlers landed on Omaha Beach with his squad and advanced to capture a German pillbox (bomb-proof shelter). In the following days, Ehlers and his men made several successful advances and destroyed several machine gun nests. Although Ehlers was wounded, he continued to fight and carried his wounded comrade to safety. Roland was killed in the battle at Omaha Beach. Ehlers continued to fight through the remainder of World War II and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on December 19, 1944, for his actions on Omaha Beach. After the war Ehlers returned home to Kansas, but eventually moved to California where he met and married his wife, Dorothy Decker.
Entry: Ehlers, Walter
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2012
Date Modified: March 2013
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