Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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U.S. Rep. Cartwright Presents Service Medals and Ribbons to WWII Veteran from Scranton

Apr 21, 2015
Press Release

Scranton, PA – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright had the honor of presenting Dr. Joseph Schectman (pictured 2nd from the right shown with his wife Mrs. Harriet Schectman; and Mr. Sam Greenberg, who served as the National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. in 1984 and 1985.) with the following service medals and ribbons:  the Bronze Star Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; World War II Victory Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars; American Campaign Medal; Expert Badge with Carbine Bar; Sharpshooter Badge with Submachine Gun Bar; Marksman Badge with Pistol and Submachine Gun Bars; World War II Honorable Service Lapel Pin.

“Dr. Schectman valiantly answered the call of duty to serve and protect our great nation at home and abroad,” said U.S Rep. Cartwright.  “It is a privilege to present this courageous veteran with the long overdue honors he deserves for his outstanding service to our nation.” 

Dr. Schectman served as a Private First Class in World War II with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 424th Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division of the United States Army, and was involved in battles and campaigns in Northern France, the Rhineland, and the Ardennes.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Schectman, 91, attended the Radio Operators School and Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.  Prior to being transferred to the 106th infantry division, Dr. Schectman also entered the Air Cadet School for pilot training; he was later transferred as priorities shifted from training pilots to increasing the infantry ranks.

While participating in combat operations near Bracht in Belgium, Dr. Schectman’s unit came under a heavy artillery barrage.  He survived a direct hit of an artillery shell on the roof of a barn in which his field communications unit was housed.  When he was not operating the unit’s radio, he served as a messenger between the battalion commander and company commanders, often under enemy fire.

Dr. Schectman received the Combat Infantryman Badge in part because on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, he volunteered to advance between the American and German lines to repair telecommunications damaged by Nazi artillery fire.  He volunteered for this mission even though it put him at great risk.