U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
Captain James P. Panas
Captain James P. Panas’ heroic acts on the beaches of Normandy exemplified the motto “Protect the Force” and his dedication and calm under enemy fire reflect the spirit of the Dragon. One of only 9 Distinguished Service Cross recipients from the Chemical Corps in WWII, his actions are a model for all present and future Dragon Soldiers.
During the thrust across France and Belgium Captain Panas and two Soldiers under his command encountered enemy troops in the town of Vresse. The group managed to maneuver out of the town, returning the enemy fire as they did so, only to find two enemy tanks blacking the road ahead.
Captain Panas ordered the two Soldiers to abandon the vehicle and disperse into the woods, which they did. He remained behind and covered the escape of his men, but it cost him his life. The next day when his body was found the Belgians had placed it in a position of honor and brought floral tributes for this truly brave man.
Captain Panas’ decorations also include the Bronze Star medal and the Purple Heart.