Headquarters, XI Corps
General Orders No. 13
12 March, 1945


LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN J. TOLSON III, 020826, Infantry, United States Army. For gallantry in action in the vicinity of Log Crossing, north-west of Lae, New Guinea, from 14 to 19 September 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Tolson moved his battalion by forced march across a range of the Finisterre Mountains to make a reconnaissance in force to determine the escape route used by Japanese Garrison at Lae. The march was completed in record time over rugged terrain and through dense untracked jungle. At about 1530 hours, 14 September 1943, his leading elements met the enemy in force. Lieutenant Colonel Tolson's speedy and brilliant maneuvering of his troops successfully repulsed many attacks by a numerically superior enemy. The engagement lasted four days and nights, causing severe casualties to the enemy while those to our forces were relatively few. The nearest main body of allied troops was approximately 18 miles distant and Lieutenant Colonel Tolson's force was without communication, and were subsisting on short rations. Supply and evacuation, which was handled by native carriers was not possible until the fifth day. Despite the innumerable obstacles encountered, Lieutenant Colonel Tolson, by his utter disregard for personal safety, courageous and aggressive leadership successfully closed the Japanese escape route and accomplished his mission in a superior manner. Home address: Mrs. Wanda C. Tolson (wife), 28 East New York Avenue, Southern Pines, North Carolina.

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