Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 5 April

April is kind of a busy month for the Medal. There are nineteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, four of them posthumous.  They span the Civil War, Philippine Insurrection, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Civil War.  The relentless pressure of the Army of the Potomac continues against the Army of Northern Virginia.

CAMPBELL, JAMES A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Woodstock, Va., 22 January 1865; At Amelia Courthouse, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 30 October 1897. Citation: While his command was retreating before superior numbers at Woodstock, Va., he voluntarily rushed back with one companion and rescued his commanding officer, who had been unhorsed and left behind. At Amelia Courthouse captured 2 battle flags.

CHANDLER, STEPHEN E.

Rank and organization: Quartermaster Sergeant, Company A, 24th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Amelia Springs, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Granby, Oswego County, N.Y. Birth: Michigan. Date of issue: 4 April 1898. Citation: Under severe fire of the enemy and of the troops in retreat, went between the lines to the assistance of a wounded and helpless comrade, and rescued him from death or capture.

DAVIDSIZER, JOHN A.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Lewiston, Pa. Birth: Milford, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

ELLIOTT, ALEXANDER

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: North Sewickley, Pa. Birth: Beaver County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

LANDIS, JAMES P.

Rank and organization: Chief Bugler, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Mifflin County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

LOCKE, LEWIS

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Jersey City, N.J. Birth: Clintonville, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of a Confederate flag.

PEIRSOL, JAMES K.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company F, 13th Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Beaver County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

SCHMAL, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: Blacksmith, Company M, 24th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

STEWART, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company E, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Salem, N.J. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

STREILE, CHRISTIAN

Rank and organization: Private, Company I, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Jersey City, N.J. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

THOMAS, HAMPTON S.

Rank and organization: Major, 1st Pennsylvania Veteran Cavalry. Place and date: At Amelia Springs, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Pennsylvania. Born: 3 November 1837, Quakertown, Bucks County, Pa. Date of issue: 15 January 1894. Citation: Conspicuous gallantry in the capture of a field battery and a number of battle flags and in the destruction of the enemy’s wagon train. Maj. Thomas lost a leg in this action.

TOMPKINS, AARON B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Orange, Essex County, N.J. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Charged into the enemy’s ranks and captured a battle flag, having a horse shot under him and his cheeks and shoulders cut with a saber.

WARFEL, HENRY C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Huntington, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of Virginia State colors.

YOUNG, ANDREW J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company F, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Entered service at: Carmichaelstown, Pa. Birth: Greene County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

Philippine Insurrection

PRENDERGAST, THOMAS FRANCIS

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 2 April 1871, Waterford, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 55 19 July 1901. Citation: For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battle while with the Eighth Army Corps, 25, 27, 29 March, and 5 April 1899

World War II.  World War II in Europe is getting about as close to the end as the Civil War is, albeit 80 years apart.  It’s significant in how the criteria for award of the Medal has morphed over the 80 years – there are far more men engaged in the final overthrow of Nazi Germany than there were of the Confederacy, but far fewer Medals of Honor were awarded during this phase of WWII than the similar phase of the Civil War.

KELLY, THOMAS J.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 48th Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division. Place and date: Alemert, Germany, 5 April 1945. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945. Citation: He was an aid man with the 1st Platoon of Company C during an attack on the town of Alemert, Germany. The platoon, committed in a flanking maneuver, had advanced down a small, open valley overlooked by wooded slopes hiding enemy machineguns and tanks, when the attack was stopped by murderous fire that inflicted heavy casualties in the American ranks. Ordered to withdraw, Cpl. Kelly reached safety with uninjured remnants of the unit, but, on realizing the extent of casualties suffered by the platoon, voluntarily retraced his steps and began evacuating his comrades under direct machinegun fire. He was forced to crawl, dragging the injured behind him for most of the 300 yards separating the exposed area from a place of comparative safety. Two other volunteers who attempted to negotiate the hazardous route with him were mortally wounded, but he kept on with his herculean task after dressing their wounds and carrying them to friendly hands. In all, he made 10 separate trips through the brutal fire, each time bringing out a man from the death trap. Seven more casualties who were able to crawl by themselves he guided and encouraged in escaping from the hail of fire. After he had completed his heroic, self-imposed task and was near collapse from fatigue, he refused to leave his platoon until the attack had been resumed and the objective taken. Cpl. Kelly’s gallantry and intrepidity in the face of seemingly certain death saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and was an example of bravery under fire.

*MUNEMORI, SADAO S.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A,  100th Infantry Battalion, 442d Combat Team. Place and date: Near Seravezza, Italy, 5 April 1945. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif Birth: Los Angeles, Calif. G.O. No.. 24, 7 March 1946. Citation: He fought with great gallantry and intrepidity near Seravezza, Italy. When his unit was pinned down by grazing fire from the enemy’s strong mountain defense and command of the squad devolved on him with the wounding of its regular leader, he made frontal, l-man attacks through direct fire and knocked out 2 machineguns with grenades Withdrawing under murderous fire and showers of grenades from other enemy emplacements, he had nearly reached a shell crater occupied by 2 of his men when an unexploded grenade bounced on his helmet and rolled toward his helpless comrades. He arose into the withering fire, dived for the missile and smothered its blast with his body. By his swift, supremely heroic action Pfc. Munemori saved 2 of his men at the cost of his own life and did much to clear the path for his company’s victorious advance.

Korean War

*DEWERT, RICHARD DAVID

Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman, U.S. Navy. Hospital Corpsman attached to Marine infantry company, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Korea, 5 April 1951. Entered service at: Taunton, Mass. Birth: Taunton, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC, in action against enemy aggressor forces. When a fire team from the point platoon of his company was pinned down by a deadly barrage of hostile automatic weapons fired and suffered many casualties, HC Dewert rushed to the assistance of 1 of the more seriously wounded and, despite a painful leg wound sustained while dragging the stricken marine to safety, steadfastly refused medical treatment for himself and immediately dashed back through the fireswept area to carry a second wounded man out of the line of fire. Undaunted by the mounting hail of devastating enemy fire, he bravely moved forward a third time and received another serious wound in the shoulder after discovering that a wounded marine had already died. Still persistent in his refusal to submit to first aid, he resolutely answered the call of a fourth stricken comrade and, while rendering medical assistance, was himself mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire. His courageous initiative, great personal valor, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds reflect the highest credit upon HC Dewert and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Vietnam

*BUKER, BRIAN L.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Detachment B-55, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam, 5 April 1970. Entered service at: Bangor, Maine. Born: 3 November 1949, Benton, Maine. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Buker, Detachment B-55, distinguished himself while serving as a platoon adviser of a Vietnamese mobile strike force company during an offensive mission. Sgt. Buker personally led the platoon, cleared a strategically located well-guarded pass, and established the first foothold at the top of what had been an impenetrable mountain fortress. When the platoon came under the intense fire from a determined enemy located in 2 heavily fortified bunkers, and realizing that withdrawal would result in heavy casualties, Sgt. Buker unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, charged through the hail of enemy fire and destroyed the first bunker with hand grenades. While reorganizing his men for the attack on the second bunker, Sgt. Buker was seriously wounded. Despite his wounds and the deadly enemy fire, he crawled forward and destroyed the second bunker. Sgt. Buker refused medical attention and was reorganizing his men to continue the attack when he was mortally wounded. As a direct result of his heroic actions, many casualties were averted, and the assault of the enemy position was successful. Sgt. Buker’s extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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