21 October 1943 — Italy
For gallantry in action while participating in aerial flight in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. While on a bombing mission over **** Italy, on 21 October 1943, the B-17 type aircraft on which Sergeant Laxson was flying as a tail gunner, was engaged by seven (7) enemy fighter aircraft, just before the bombing run was started. In the encounter that followed, a 20 millimeter shell exploded in the tail compartment, blowing Sergeant Laxson out of the tail gunners seat, destroyed his oxygen mask, and severely wounded him in the legs. Sergeant Laxson displayed conspicuous gallantry and intense devotion to duty by immediately returning to his position and resumed firing his guns, despite the pain, shock, and loss of blood. His skill as a gunner resulted in the destruction of one (1) of the attacking enemy fighters. Realizing that the plane was on the bomb run, he did not notify the pilot of his injuries and lack of oxygen, and the B-17 was able to complete the bomb run and drop bombs on the target, causing great damage to the enemy. Such courageous action and unselfish personal example reflects great credit upon Sergeant Laxson and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.