(By Senators Dittmar, Unger, Anderson, Kessler, Ross, Ball, Prezioso, Oliverio, Sharpe, Walker, Snyder, Minard, Bowman, Plymale, Jackson, Wooton, Fanning, Edgell, Helmick, Bailey, McCabe, Love, Hunter, Redd, Minear, Sprouse, Tomblin (Mr. President) and Chafin)

Requesting the Division of Highways name the proposed new bridge across the Ohio River between Mason City and Pomeroy, Ohio the "Sergeant Bernard P. Bell, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Memorial Bridge".

Whereas, Bernard P. Bell was raised, educated, resided and employed in Mason County; and

Whereas, Sergeant Bell fought in World War II as a platoon leader with Company I of the 142nd Infantry and at one battle in Mittelwhir, France, in 1944, he forced twenty-six German soldiers to surrender inside a schoolhouse held by the enemy, killing twenty and capturing thirty-three enemy soldiers during that battle; and

Whereas, Sergeant Bell and seven of his fellow soldiers drove
back more than one hundred fifty German soldiers while killing eighty-seven and capturing forty-two others under nearly constant hostile fire from tanks and machine guns; and
Whereas, For outstanding military service during World War II, Sergeant Bell was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 and also was awarded numerous other decorations, including a Distinguished Service Cross, a Bronze Star, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Clusters, a Prisoner of War Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the French Croix de Guerre; and

Whereas, In awarding him the Medal of Honor, President Truman recognized Sergeant Bell with the following citation: "Sergeant Bell, a platoon leader with Company I, 142nd Infantry, fought gallantly at Mittelwhir, France. On the morning of 18 December, 1944, he led a squad against a schoolhouse held by enemy troops. While his men covered him, he dashed to the building, surprised two guards at the door and took them prisoner without firing a shot. He found that other Germans were in the cellar. These he threatened with hand grenades, forcing twenty-six in all to emerge and surrender. His squad then occupied the building and prepared
to defend it against powerful enemy action. The next day, the enemy poured artillery and mortar barrages into the position, disrupting communications which Sergeant Bell repeatedly repaired under heavy small arms fire as he crossed dangerous terrain to keep his company commander informed of the squad's situation. During the day, several prisoners were taken and other Germans killed when hostile forces were attracted to the schoolhouse by the sound of captured German weapons fired by the Americans. At dawn the next day, the enemy prepared to assault the building. A German tank fired round after round into the structure, partially demolishing the upper stories. Despite this heavy fire, Sergeant Bell climbed to the second floor and directed artillery fire which forced the hostile tank to withdraw. He then adjusted mortar fire on large forces of enemy foot soldiers attempting to reach the American position and when this force broke and attempted to retire, he directed deadly machine gun and rifle fire into their disorganized ranks. Calling for armored support to blast out German troops hidden behind a wall, he unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy small arms fire to stand beside a friendly tank and tell its occupants where to rip holes in walls protecting approaches to the school building. He then trained machine guns on the gaps and mowed all hostile troops attempting to cross the openings to get closer to the school. By his intrepidity and bold, aggressive leadership, Sergeant Bell enabled his eight-man squad to drive back approximately one hundred and fifty of the enemy, killing at least eighty-seven and capturing forty-two. Personally, he killed more than twenty and captured thirty-three prisoners."; and
Whereas, Sergeant Bell represents well all area veterans who have served their country; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways name the proposed new bridge across the Ohio River between Mason City and Pomeroy, Ohio the "Sergeant Bernard P. Bell, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Memorial Bridge"; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways, Lorena Bell Hare, the State Police and to the capitol press corp.