A native of Camden, N.J., Lieutenant Kaplan was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in France. At St. Croix, leading elements of his company were under heavy enemy machine-gun fire where six men in his platoon were wounded. Kaplan dashed across an exposed area to assist his men. Using his M-1 rifle, he occupied the enemy’s abandoned position under heavy fire.
Kaplan then spotted another well-concealed enemy position. Heavy automatic weapons fire from the enemy menaced him. Braving this barrage, he continued firing his rifle at the enemy where he killed five Germans and forced the others to flee in disorder.
Kaplan reorganized his men, led them in clearing the sector of the town assigned to them. Suddenly, heavy machine-gun fire from three enemy tanks swept toward the advancing platoon. Kaplan led his men forward and directed the platoon’s fire. Three Germans were killed and the tanks were forced to withdraw.