U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
First Lieutenant Andre N. Laus
Andre Nichole Laus was born in Paris, France in 1915. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1937 with a chemistry degree, and worked as a chemist in Boston, Massachusetts.
Commissioned in the Chemical Warfare Service with the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion, on 10 July 1943, he was awarded the Silver Star: When the landing craft holding his company was grounded in deep water and heavy surf and was being subjected to intense enemy machine gun and coast-artillery fire, 1LT Laus swam ashore to determine the depth of water and beach conditions. While guiding his men ashore, he saved a drowning Soldier’s life.
On 29 August 1944, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross: When attacked by a superior enemy force, 1LT Laus climbed through intense machine gun fire to an exposed position from which he directed mortar fire on the enemy troops, halting their advance. He obtained a light machine gun and crawled back to his observation post where, despite intense fire, raking machine gun and mortar fire, he succeeded in destroying twenty of the hostile force. When enemy fire finally hit his ammunition belt causing a jam in the gun, he seized a rifle and inflicted substantial casualties among the advancing enemy. Forced to withdraw under heavy machine gun fire, 1LT Laus volunteered to make the initial advance to determine the safety of the road where he was killed by enemy machine gun fire.
His heroic sacrifice and courageous leadership served as a lasting impression to his men and reflects the finest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.