Powell was born on May 5, 1916 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
Prior to his entry into military service, Lieutenant Mike Powell completed a degree in military history and languages in West Point. He served as rifleman in the 34th Infantry Division, where he show marksmanship and fieldcraft second to none among the thousands of applicants to the 1st Ranger Battalion.
May 27, 1941: Graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and issued a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Transferred to the 34th Infantry Division.
October 25, 1941: Promoted to ful (1st) Lieutenant.
April 16, 1942: Volunteered for the 1st Ranger Battalion. Passed interview and selection process at Carrickfergus.
Awarded for: Exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service on November 7th, 1942. Lt. Mike Powell, 1st Ranger Bn., rescued both a British and an American POW from a heavily fortified German outpost. Lt. Powell's actions helped secure Allied victory during the landings of Operation Torch.
Awarded for: Conspicuous bravery before the enemy, in aiding the defense of Norway, on February 12th, 1943. Lt. Mike Powell, 1st Ranger Bn., recovered a much sought after Kriegsmarine officer personnel manifest from the U-529, shortly before the explosives he planted scuttled the U-Boat.
Awarded for: Meritorious conduct in the Invasion of Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Lt. Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., survived the assault on Omaha Beach and went on to clear out a major German fortification, eliminating enemy gunners, and ultimately aiding in the securing of the D-1 exit near Vierville.
Awarded for: Dedicated service in the armed forces while the United States was at war, and for displaying conspicuous initiative on June 22nd, 1944. Lt. Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., singlehandedly destroyed two King Tiger tanks while on a special intelligence gathering mission for the OSS.
Awarded for: Exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility on August 20th, 1944. Lt. Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., despite heavy enemy sniper activity, safeguarded the passage of allthreemembers of a special tank crew through the streets of Landenau, near Brest.
Awarded for: Heroism, meritorious achievement and meritorious service on January 18th, 1945. Lt Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., under tremendous sniper fire at the train loading platform at the German stronghold Fort Schmerzan, protected the assault team with precise sniper fire, which consequentially escaped with less than five casualties during disembarkment.
Awarded for: Heroic and meritorious achievement of service, not involving aerial flight, in connection with operations against opposing armed forces, on January 20th, 1945. Lt. Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., successfully completed a challenging tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations.
Awarded for: Extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing force. Lt. Mike Powell, 2nd Ranger Bn., successfully completed a tremendously difficult tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations.
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