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Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 01 178 115, 490 Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 11th Armored Division, United States Army.

26 July 1945.


For gallantry in action in connection with military operations against an armed enemy. On 4 January 1945, Lieutenant Cunningham, the Adjutant of the 490 Armored Field Artillery Battalion, volunteered to go forward to establish and maintain liaison with the *** Glider Infantry Regiment of the ********* Airborne Division. Despite the fact that he had been pinned down by enemy artillery and mortar fire for the greater part of the previous day in the same sector, he insisted on performing the missions himself, pointing out that the Battalion liaison section, which had been operating in another area, would be in danger due to the uncertain and rapidly changing status of friendly and enemy front lines. Allowed to go forward, he began a search for the Infantry command post which had changed position for the night. While on this mission he was surrounded by and enemy patrol and killed near ***. Lieutenant Cunningham's actions in volunteering for a mission of hazardous nature which was not within the realm of his duties displayed an outstanding regard for the safety of others, a complete disregard of his own, and a continuous unselfish desire to further the interests and duties of his unit. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army.