Project Description

FowlerThomas W. Fowler 1943

Thomas Fowler graduated from the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army after completing his military training at the Armor Officers Candidate School in Fort Knox, Kentucky. On May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy, Fowler came upon two disorganized infantry platoons halted in their advance by a minefield. Though a tank officer, Fowler reorganized the men and cleared a route through the minefield, removing the mines one by one with his bare hands. After clearing a path, he returned to the squad and led them through the minefield before scouting out a route for them to continue their advance. He crossed the minefield again to lead the tanks through and directed them to positions to support the infantry. Fowler then went ahead of the infantry to scout and captured several German soldiers.

Detecting a gap in the American advance, he directed the infantry and tanks into position to fill it. The enemy counterattacked with tanks, setting one of Fowler’s tanks on fire. Disregarding his own safety, Fowler tended to the wounded tank crew. Fowler and the tank crew were under intense enemy fire for thirty minutes before the German tanks were almost on top of their position. After being forced to withdraw from the tank, he gave first aid to nine soldiers while still under enemy fire. For his actions that day, Fowler was awarded the Medal of Honor. Fowler was killed near Rome in combat by an enemy sniper only eleven days later.

Fowler was the second Texas Aggie awarded the Medal of Honor.