Oct. 21, 1944: Pte. Ernest Alvia "Smokey" Smith crosses the swelling Savio River to secure the far bank. But the river rises and his small company is cut off. They are soon attacked by 30 German soldiers and three tanks. Switching between a Thompson submachine gun and PIAT anti-tank gun, Smokey repels the attackers, carries a wounded comrade to safety, and holds the position until reinforcements arrive. His actions, here told in his own words some years later, earn him the Victoria Cross.