U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
First Lieutenant Joseph Terry
First Lieutenant Joseph Terry was born in East Liberty, Pennsylvania in 1917. He entered service in 1942 and was Platoon Leader in the 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion, participating in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. His unit received several unit citation awards for their contribution.
First Lieutenant Terry is one of only 9 members of the Chemical Corps to receive the Distinguished Service Cross during WWII. He received this award due to his action during a prolonged hostile artillery barrage upon his unit in December 1944. A direct hit on an ammunition shed near his Soldier’s barracks detonated white phosphorus and high explosives that set the billets on fire. At great personal risk he ran through the smoke and burning phosphorus to alert the troops. Once to safety he heard a Soldier calling for help and again re-entered the billets and rescued a severely wounded Soldier that was unable to walk.
In all, First Lieutenant Terry saved the lives of six men and showed daring and courage in the face of great danger.
First Lieutenant Terry is also the inventor of the Azimuth Position Finder. Designed to fire mortars more accurately at night, the device was first used successfully in Brest, France, September 10th, 1944 and again successfully for many years thereafter.