One of the prototypes of Rambo was an Armenian colonel of the US Army Ernest (Ervand) Dervishian. On May 23, 1944, Ernest Dervishian (Էռնեստ (Երվանդ) Հերբերտ Դերվիշյան) showed unprecedented courage in Sicily.
During a fierce battle, having lost his fighting comrades and being surrounded by the enemy, Dervishian managed to capture 45 enemy soldiers with their 3 machine-guns and 10 pistols by using his fantastic methods of close quarters combat.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor (No. of the medal: 3, issued on January 8, 1945). Only 87 people were awarded the order at the time.
Demobilized after the war with the rank of colonel, E. Dervishian occupied a number of high military positions: he was the deputy commander of the American National Legion and an adviser on military and state affairs.
American newspapers wrote:
“At the risk of his life, he over-fulfilled his duties. As a result of a pre-planned attack, Junior Lieutenant Dervishian (then still Tech Sergeant) and four other members of his platoon were far ahead of their colleagues, standing before the enemy artillery and sniper fire.
Having reached the railway embankment, they watched the forces of German soldiers hiding in dugouts.
After ordering his men to cover him, Junior Lieutenant Dervishian boldly went ahead and, shooting from his carbine, forced ten German soldiers to surrender.
Later, his people captured fifteen more Germans, simultaneously taking their convenient positions. The POWs were handed over to the advancing units. Dervishian’s unit began to observe nine other Germans who were trying to escape through the crest.
They opened fire and wounded three Germans. While his men were shooting, Junior Lieutenant Dervishian fearlessly and imperceptibly rushed forward and alone captured all the running enemies and held them until his people joined him.
Dervishian’s unit received four other soldiers as reinforcement. He attempted to send those four to the left flank of a large and dense vineyard, but the enemy’s deadly fire forced them to return.
Ordering not to fall back, Dervishian went ahead of his group and organized an attack on the vineyard. But suddenly, he got pushed down by heavy machine gun fire located in 15 yards from him.
Pretending to be dead, he waited for the end of the fire and, using hand grenades and a carbine, attacked the enemy and captured four members of the machine gun crew. Then, four of his soldiers entered the vineyard from the left flank only to be met by the fire of another machine gun, as a result of which, one soldier was killed and another was wounded.
The enemy soldiers set up a bomb and attacked the valiant group of American soldiers in the vineyard with numerous grenades. Dervishian ordered his men to retreat. He jumped to the position of the machine gun he had just captured and opened fire in the direction of the second machine gun nest.
After noticing a dugout in 2 or 3 meters from the vineyard, Dervishian picked up an auto pistol and deprived the Germans of the opportunity to fire back and forced five soldiers to surrender with continuous fire.
Determined to rid the area from all Germans, Dervishian continued the offense alone.
Noticing another position of a machine gun next to a house, he covered it in bullets and made six more Germans surrender. Having made sure that there are no other enemy targets nearby, Dervishian brought all the prisoners to the rear.”