In front of a crowd of family and friends attending a USO Dance at the Orchard Park American Legion, Congressman Brian Higgins presented Michael Davidovich with a Bronze Star Medal he earned 67 years earlier.
“Sergeant Davidovich’s story is one of extraordinary bravery and selfless commitment to his fellow comrades and his country,” said Congressman Higgins. “His are the stories of a hero and it is truly my honor to present this award on behalf of a good and grateful nation.”
Michael Davidovich was drafted to the Army on June 12th 1942. He and others assembled in Fort Niagara and was shipped to Fort Dix, New Jersey. Sergeant Davidovich served as a Lineman in Company C, 94th Signal Battalion. He was tasked with establishing communications.
In an early assignment he was sent to Elkins West Virginia where they lived in large tents and spent over seven months erecting a telephone line about 60 miles through the mountains. It was there that he met his future wife Frances Jones, a local resident in nearby Belington, West Virginia.
His battalion was shipped overseas and arrived in Birmingham, England on October 12, 1944. After a brief stay in the hospital he was reunited with his unit and served in the Battle of the Bulge. Viewing the Rhine River as the last major geographic obstacle to Allied troops, Hitler ordered the bridges over the river destroyed, but the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, Germany was captured by US troops and still standing.
At the Remagen bridge, Sgt. Michael Davidovich was in charge of a squad of men laying communications to the different infantry divisions. The engineers built a pontoon bridge so they could cross the Rhine River. Called by some as the "Miracle of Remagen," the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge opened the way for Allied troops to drive into the heart of Germany.
It was also there that his squad took down a Swastika flag that was flying at a building along the road. His whole squad signed the Swastika flag which is on display at the Orchard Park American Legion.
On November 11th 1945 Michael Davidovich departed France and returned to New York on November 19th 1945. Sixty-seven years later, on November 11, 2012 he was presented with his Bronze Star Medal by Congressman Brian Higgins.
Over the years the Bronze Star Medal deteriorated and his granddaughter Michel Coffey contacted Congressman Brian Higgins office to get it replaced. Congressman Brian Higgins’ office contacted the Department of the Army and recently received a new Bronze Star Medal.
The Bronze Star Medal is awarded for "Heroic or meritorious achievement or service" and is the fourth-highest combat decoration a veteran can receive. Davidovich earned the Bronze Star Award for disregard for his own personal safety and his cooperation and untiring efforts contributed materially to the success of his unit.
Mr. Davidovich recently traveled to Washington, DC, thanks to Honor Flight Network, to visit the World War II Memorial and was provided tickets to the White House through Congressman Higgins’ office. He will be featured in a documentary that explores the life in a rust belt city working toward a brighter future, through the eyes and personal stories of of twelve Sabres hockey fans. Davidovich will turn 95 years old this week.