Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 16 April

There are fourteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumous. Eleven from the Civil War, and one each from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The Medals awarded today are, except for two, iconic of their era – the Civil War Medals, save two, are for flag captures, all the modern era awards are for falling on grenades.

Civil War. Three Medals for the Battle of Lees Mills, in 1862, one for Deep Bottom, Va in 1864, and seven Medals awarded for flag captures during the Battle of Columbus, Georgia – which is where Fort Benning, home of the Infantry and Armor is located.  Sergeant Bates has no connection to a certain motel in Fairvale, California.

BATES, NORMAN F.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Vermont. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag and bearer.

BEBB, EDWARD J.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Henry County, Iowa. Birth: Butler County, Ohio. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BIRDSALL, HORATIO L.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 3d Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa. Birth: Monroe County, N.Y. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag and bearer.

COSGRIFF, RICHARD H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa. Birth: Dunkirk County, N.Y. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag in a personal encounter with its bearer.

HAYS, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. Birth: Jefferson County, Ohio. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag and bearer Austin’s Battery (C.S.A.).

HOLTON, EDWARD A.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 6th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Lees Mills, Va., 16 April 1862. Entered service at: Williston, Vt. Birth: Westminster, Vt. Date of issue: 9 July 1892. Citation: Rescued the colors of his regiment under heavy fire, the color bearer having been shot down while the troops were in retreat.

LEONARD, WILLIAM E.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Deep Bottom, Va., 16 April 1864. Entered service at: Jacksonville, Pa. Birth: Greene County, Pa. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag.

MORGAN, RICHARD H.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Taylor, Freemont County, Iowa. Birth: Dubois County, Ind. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag inside the enemy’s works, contesting for its possession with its bearer.

PINGREE, SAMUEL E.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company F, 3d Vermont Infantry Place and date: Lees Mills, Va., 16 April 1862. Entered service at. Hartford, Vt. Birth: Salisbury, N.H. Date of issue: 17 August 1891. Citation: Gallantly led his company across a wide, deep creek, drove the enemy from the rifle pits, which were within 2 yards of the farther bank, and remained at the head of his men until a second time severely wounded.

SCOTT, JULIAN A.

Rank and organization: Drummer, Company E, 3d Vermont Infantry. Place and date. At Lees Mills, Va., 16 April 1862. Entered service at. Johnson, Vt. Birth: Johnson, Vt. Date of issue: February 1865. Citation: Crossed the creek under a terrific fire of musketry several times to assist in bringing off the wounded.

TIBBETS, ANDREW W.

Rank and organization: Private, Company I, 3d Iowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Columbus, Ga., 16 April 1865. Entered service at: Appanoose County, Iowa. Birth: Clark County, Ind. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag and bearer, Austin’s Battery (C.S.A.).

World War II. Another Marine who, a resolute warrior, benefitted from the fact that by this stage in the war, Japanese grenades were not up to standard.

BUSH, RICHARD EARL

Rank and organization: Corporal, U .S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division. Place and date: Mount Yaetake on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 16 April 1945. Entered service at: Kentucky. Born: 23 December 1923, Glasgow, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a squad leader serving with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces, during the final assault against Mount Yaetake on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 16 April 1945. Rallying his men forward with indomitable determination, Cpl. Bush boldly defied the slashing fury of concentrated Japanese artillery fire pouring down from the gun-studded mountain fortress to lead his squad up the face of the rocky precipice, sweep over the ridge, and drive the defending troops from their deeply entrenched position. With his unit, the first to break through to the inner defense of Mount Yaetake, he fought relentlessly in the forefront of the action until seriously wounded and evacuated with others under protecting rocks. Although prostrate under medical treatment when a Japanese hand grenade landed in the midst of the group, Cpl. Bush, alert and courageous in extremity as in battle, unhesitatingly pulled the deadly missile to himself and absorbed the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his body, thereby saving his fellow marines from severe injury or death despite the certain peril to his own life. By his valiant leadership and aggressive tactics in the face of savage opposition, Cpl. Bush contributed materially to the success of the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His constant concern for the welfare of his men, his resolute spirit of self-sacrifice, and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout the bitter conflict enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Korean War

DEWEY, DUANE E.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company E, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Near Panmunjon, Korea, 16 April 1952. Entered service at: Muskegon, Mich. Born: 16 November 1931, Grand Rapids, Mich. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a gunner in a machine gun platoon of Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. When an enemy grenade landed close to his position while he and his assistant gunner were receiving medical attention for their wounds during a fierce night attack by numerically superior hostile forces, Cpl. Dewey, although suffering intense pain, immediately pulled the corpsman to the ground and, shouting a warning to the other marines around him. bravely smothered the deadly missile with his body, personally absorbing the full force of the explosion to save his comrades from possible injury or death. His indomitable courage, outstanding initiative, and valiant efforts in behalf of others in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon Cpl. Dewey and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Vietnam

*INGALLS, GEORGE ALAN

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 16 April 1967. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif. Born: 9 March 1946, Hanford, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Ingalls, a member of Company A, accompanied his squad on a night ambush mission. Shortly after the ambush was established, an enemy soldier entered the killing zone and was shot when he tried to evade capture. Other enemy soldiers were expected to enter the area, and the ambush was maintained in the same location. Two quiet hours passed without incident, then suddenly a hand grenade was thrown from the nearby dense undergrowth into the center of the squad’s position. The grenade did not explode, but shortly thereafter a second grenade landed directly between Sp4c. Ingalls and a nearby comrade. Although he could have jumped to a safe position, Sp4c. Ingalls, in a spontaneous act of great courage, threw himself on the grenade and absorbed its full blast. The explosion mortally wounded Sp4c. Ingalls, but his heroic action saved the lives of the remaining members of his squad. His gallantry and selfless devotion to his comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon Sp4c. Ingalls, 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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