Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 2 May

The pace picks up a bit as there are seventeen Medals awarded for actions on this day, and, unusually when you have this high a number, especially with five from the modern era, none are posthumous. There are ten Medals from the Civil War, one from the Philippine Insurrection and five from Vietnam.

Civil War. Ten Medals from Chancellorsville.

BOODY, ROBERT

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 40th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Williamsburg, Va., 5 May 1862. At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Amesbury, Mass. Birth: Lemington, Maine. Date of issue: 8 July 1896. Citation: This soldier, at Williamsburg, Va., then a corporal, at great personal risk, voluntarily saved the lives of and brought from the battlefield 2 wounded comrades. A year later, at Chancellorsville, voluntarily, and at great personal risk, brought from the field of battle and saved the life of Capt. George B. Carse, Company C, 40th New York Volunteer Infantry.

BRANNIGAN, FELIX

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 74th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Allegheny County, Pa. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 29 June 1866. Citation: Volunteered on a dangerous service and brought in valuable information.

CRANSTON, WILLIAM W.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Champaign County, Ohio. Date of issue: 15 December 1892. Citation: One of a party of 4 who voluntarily brought in a wounded Confederate officer from within the enemy’s line in the face of a constant fire.

DILGER, HUBERT

Rank and organization: Captain, Battery 1, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 5 March 1836, Germany. Date of issue: 17 August 1893. Citation: Fought his guns until the enemy were upon him, then with one gun hauled in the road by hand he formed the rear guard and kept the enemy at bay by the rapidity of his fire and was the last man in the retreat.

GION, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 74th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Allegheny County, Pa. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 26 November 1884. Citation: Voluntarily and under heavy fire advanced toward the enemy’s lines and secured valuable information.

HELLER, HENRY

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Urbana, Ohio. Birth:——. Date of issue: 29 July 1892. Citation: One of a party of 4 who, under heavy fire, voluntarily brought into the Union lines a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the position of the enemy.

JACOBSON, EUGENE P.

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 74th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth:——. Date of issue: 29 March 1865. Citation: Bravery in conducting a scouting party in front of the enemy.

SEAMAN, ELISHA B

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va. 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Logan County, Ohio. Birth: Logan County, Ohio. Date of issue: 24 June 1892. Citation: Was 1 of party of 4 who voluntarily brought into the Union lines, under fire, a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the enemy.

THOMPSON, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Champaign County, Ohio. Date of issue: 16 July 1892. Citation: One of a party of 4 who voluntarily brought into the Union lines, under fire, a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the enemy.

THOMSON, CLIFFORD

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company A, 1st New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth:——. Date of issue: 27 November 1896. Citation: Volunteered to ascertain the character of approaching troops; rode up so closely as to distinguish the features of the enemy, and as he wheeled to return they opened fire with musketry, the Union troops returning same. Under a terrific fire from both sides Lieutenant Thomson rode back unhurt to the Federal lines, averting a disaster to the Army by his heroic act.

TRACY, WILLIAM G.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company I, 122d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2 May 1863. Entered service at: Onondaga County, N.Y. Birth: Onondaga, N.Y. Date of issue: 2 May 1895. Citation: Having been sent outside the lines to obtain certain information of great importance and having succeeded in his mission, was surprised upon his return by a large force of the enemy, regaining the Union lines only after greatly imperiling his life.

Philppine Insurrection

BICKHAM, CHARLES G.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 27th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Bayong, near Lake Lanao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, 2 May 1902. Entered service at: Dayton, Ohio. Birth: Dayton, Ohio. Date of issue: 28 April 1904. Citation: Crossed a fire-swept field, in close range of the enemy, and brought a wounded soldier to a place of shelter.

Vietnam War. I had the privilege of meeting Master Sergeant Benavidez when I was stationed at Fort Sam Houston.  A little unusual with this many Vietnam awards there are no posthumous awards.  The day is also unusual with two soldiers from the same company in the same fight at Ap Bac, and a year later another fight with two marines in the same battalion in the same fight at Dai Do.

BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.

Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant, Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam. Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968. Entered Service at: Houston, Texas June 1955. Date and Place of Birth: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas. Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team’s position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team’s position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy’s fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader’s body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy’s fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.

KELLER, LEONARD B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. place and date: Ap Bac Zone, Republic of Vietnam, 2 May 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 25 February 1947, Rockford, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sweeping through an area where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier, Sgt. Keller’s unit suddenly came under Intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a number of enemy bunkers and numerous snipers in nearby trees. Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing 1 Viet Cong who attempted to escape. Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire. Armed with a light machine gun, Sgt. Keller and his comrade began a systematic assault on the enemy bunkers. While Sgt. Keller neutralized the fire from the first bunker with his machine gun, the other soldier threw in a hand grenade killing its occupant. Then he and the other soldier charged a second bunker, killing its occupant. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. Again, with utter disregard for the fire directed to them, the 2 men charged, killing the enemy within. Continuing their attack, Sgt. Keller and his comrade assaulted 4 more bunkers, killing the enemy within. During their furious assault, Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. The ferocity of their assault had carried the soldiers beyond the line of bunkers into the treeline, forcing snipers to flee. The 2 men gave immediate chase, driving the enemy away from the friendly unit. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sgt. Keller returned to the platoon to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The 2-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy dead, and prevented further friendly casualties. Sgt. Keller’s selfless heroism and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

LIVINGSTON, JAMES E.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. place and date: Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam, 2 May 1968. Entered service at: McRae, Ga. Born: 12 January 1940, Towns, Telfair County, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, Company E, in action against enemy forces. Company E launched a determined assault on the heavily fortified village of Dai Do, which had been seized by the enemy on the preceding evening isolating a marine company from the remainder of the battalion. Skillfully employing screening agents, Capt. Livingston maneuvered his men to assault positions across 500 meters of dangerous open rice paddy while under intense enemy fire. Ignoring hostile rounds impacting near him, he fearlessly led his men in a savage assault against enemy emplacements within the village. While adjusting supporting arms fire, Capt. Livingston moved to the points of heaviest resistance, shouting words of encouragement to his marines, directing their fire, and spurring the dwindling momentum of the attack on repeated occasions. Although twice painfully wounded by grenade fragments, he refused medical treatment and courageously led his men in the destruction of over 100 mutually supporting bunkers, driving the remaining enemy from their positions, and relieving the pressure on the stranded marine company. As the 2 companies consolidated positions and evacuated casualties, a third company passed through the friendly lines launching an assault on the adjacent village of Dinh To, only to be halted by a furious counterattack of an enemy battalion. Swiftly assessing the situation and disregarding the heavy volume of enemy fire, Capt. Livingston boldly maneuvered the remaining effective men of his company forward, joined forces with the heavily engaged marines, and halted the enemy’s counterattack Wounded a third time and unable to walk, he steadfastly remained in the dangerously exposed area, deploying his men to more tenable positions and supervising the evacuation of casualties. Only when assured of the safety of his men did he allow himself to be evacuated. Capt. Livingston’s gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

VARGAS, M. SANDO, JR.

Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Place and date: Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam, 30 April to 2 May 1968. Entered service at: Winslow, Ariz. Born: 29 July 1940, Winslow, Ariz. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer, Company G, in action against enemy forces from 30 April to 2 May 1968. On 1 May 1968, though suffering from wounds he had incurred while relocating his unit under heavy enemy fire the preceding day, Maj. Vargas combined Company G with two other companies and led his men in an attack on the fortified village of Dai Do. Exercising expert leadership, he maneuvered his marines across 700 meters of open rice paddy while under intense enemy mortar, rocket and artillery fire and obtained a foothold in 2 hedgerows on the enemy perimeter, only to have elements of his company become pinned down by the intense enemy fire. Leading his reserve platoon to the aid of his beleaguered men, Maj. Vargas inspired his men to renew their relentless advance, while destroying a number of enemy bunkers. Again wounded by grenade fragments, he refused aid as he moved about the hazardous area reorganizing his unit into a strong defense perimeter at the edge of the village. Shortly after the objective was secured the enemy commenced a series of counterattacks and probes which lasted throughout the night but were unsuccessful as the gallant defenders of Company G stood firm in their hard-won enclave. Reinforced the following morning, the marines launched a renewed assault through Dai Do on the village of Dinh To, to which the enemy retaliated with a massive counterattack resulting in hand-to-hand combat. Maj. Vargas remained in the open, encouraging and rendering assistance to his marines when he was hit for the third time in the 3-day battle. Observing his battalion commander sustain a serious wound, he disregarded his excruciating pain, crossed the fire-swept area and carried his commander to a covered position, then resumed supervising and encouraging his men while simultaneously assisting in organizing the battalion’s perimeter defense. His gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

WRIGHT, RAYMOND R.

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Ap Bac Zone, Republic of Vietnam, 2 May 1967. Entered service at: Moriah, N.Y. Born: 5 December 1945, Moriah, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While serving as a rifleman with Company A, Sp4c. Wright distinguished himself during a combat patrol in an area where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier. Sp4c. Wright’s unit suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from an enemy bunker system protected by numerous snipers in nearby trees. Despite the heavy enemy fire, Sp4c. Wright and another soldier leaped to the top of a dike to assault the position. Armed with a rifle and several grenades, he and his comrade exposed themselves to intense fire from the bunkers as they charged the nearest one. Sp4c. Wright raced to the bunker, threw in a grenade, killing its occupant. The 2 soldiers then ran through a hail of fire to the second bunker. While his comrade covered him with his machinegun, Sp4c. Wright charged the bunker and succeeded in killing its occupant with a grenade. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. While his comrade again covered him with machinegun fire, Sp4c. Wright charged in and killed the enemy rifleman with a grenade. The 2 soldiers worked their way through the remaining bunkers, knocking out 4 of them. Throughout their furious assault, Sp4c. Wright and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire from the treeline as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. Overcoming stubborn resistance from the bunker system, the men advanced into the treeline forcing the snipers to retreat, giving immediate chase, and driving the enemy away from the friendly unit so that it advanced across the open area without further casualty. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sp4c. Wright returned to his unit to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. This 2-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy casualties, and averted further friendly casualties. Sp4c. Wright’s extraordinary heroism, courage, and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

 

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 1 May

There are four Medals awarded for actions on this day, spanning the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War II.  None are posthumous, and one is a second award.

Civil War

MULLEN, PATRICK  (SECOND AWARD) Boatswain’s Mate Mullen earned his first Medal about six weeks prior to this one, on 17 March at Mattox Creek.

G.O. No.: 62, 29 June 1865. Second award. Citation: Served as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Don, 1 May 1865. Engaged in picking up the crew of picket launch No. 6, which had swamped. Mullen, seeing an officer who was at that time no longer able to keep up and was below the surface of the water, jumped overboard and brought the officer to the boat, thereby rescuing him from drowning, which brave action entitled him to wear a bar on the medal he had already received at Mattox Creek, 17 March 1865.

O’NEILL, STEPHEN

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 7th U S. Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 1 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: St. Johns, New Brunswick. Date of issue: 28 September 1891. Citation: Took up the colors from the hands of the color bearer who had been shot down and bore them through the remainder of the battle.

Spanish-American War

ITRICH, FRANZ ANTON

Rank and organization: Chief Carpenter’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 26 November 1853, Gross Katz, Germany. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 13, 5 December 1900. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Petrel, Manila, Philippine Islands, 1 May 1898. Serving in the presence of the enemy, Itrich displayed heroism during the action.

World War II

SMITH, MAYNARD H. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization. Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 423d Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bomber Group. Place and date: Over Europe, 1 May 1943. Entered service at: Cairo, Mich. Born: 1911, Cairo Mich. G.O. No.: 38, 12 July 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. The aircraft of which Sgt. Smith was a gunner was subjected to intense enemy antiaircraft fire and determined fighter airplane attacks while returning from a mission over enemy-occupied continental Europe on 1 May 1943. The airplane was hit several times by antiaircraft fire and cannon shells of the fighter airplanes, 2 of the crew were seriously wounded, the aircraft’s oxygen system shot out, and several vital control cables severed when intense fires were ignited simultaneously in the radio compartment and waist sections. The situation became so acute that 3 of the crew bailed out into the comparative safety of the sea. Sgt. Smith, then on his first combat mission, elected to fight the fire by himself, administered first aid to the wounded tail gunner, manned the waist guns, and fought the intense flames alternately. The escaping oxygen fanned the fire to such intense heat that the ammunition in the radio compartment began to explode, the radio, gun mount, and camera were melted, and the compartment completely gutted. Sgt. Smith threw the exploding ammunition overboard, fought the fire until all the firefighting aids were exhausted, manned the workable guns until the enemy fighters were driven away, further administered first aid to his wounded comrade, and then by wrapping himself in protecting cloth, completely extinguished the fire by hand. This soldier’s gallantry in action, undaunted bravery, and loyalty to his aircraft and fellow crewmembers, without regard for his own personal safety, is an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 30 April

A very slow day for the Medal.  Only one awarded for this day, during the Civil War.

Civil War

HEERMANCE, WILLIAM L.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 6th New York Cavalry Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 30 April 1863. Entered service at: Kinderhook, N.Y. Born: 28 February 1837, Kinderhook, N Y. Date of issue: 30 March 1898. Citation: Took command of the regiment as its senior officer when surrounded by Stuart’s Cavalry. The regiment cut its way through the enemy’s line and escaped but Capt. Heermance was desperately wounded, left for dead on the field and was taken prisoner.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 29 April

There are five Medals awarded for actions on this day, four from the Civil War and one from the Indian Campaigns era.  None are posthumous.

Civil War

GUERIN, FITZ W.

Rank and organization: Private, Battery A, 1st Missouri Light Artillery. Place and date: At Grand Gulf, Miss., 28-29 April 1863. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 10 March 1896. Citation: With two comrades voluntarily took position on board the steamer Cheeseman, in charge of all the guns and ammunition of the battery, and remained in charge of the same for a considerable time while the steamer was unmanageable and subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy.

HAMMEL, HENRY A.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Battery A, 1st Missouri Light Artillery. Place and date: At Grand Gulf, Miss., 28-29 April 1863. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 10 March 1896. Citation: With two comrades voluntarily took position on board the steamer Cheeseman, in charge of all the guns and ammunition of the battery, and remained in charge of the same for considerable time while the steamer was unmanageable and subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy.

PESCH, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, Battery A, 1st Missouri Light Artillery. Place and date: At Grand Gulf, Miss., 28-29 April 1863. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: Prussia. Date of issue: 10 March 1896. Citation: With 2 comrades voluntarily took position on board the steamer Cheeseman, in charge of all the guns and ammunition of the battery, and remained in charge of the same, although the steamer became unmanageable and was exposed for some time to a heavy fire from the enemy.

WOON, JOHN

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1823, England. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Pittsburg, Mississippi River, 29 April 1863. Engaging the enemy batteries at Grand Gulf, the U.S.S. Pittsburg, although severely damaged and suffering many personnel casualties, continued to fire her batteries until ordered to withdraw. Taking part in a similar action after nightfall, the U.S.S. Pittsburg received further damage, but receiving no personnel casualities in the latter action. Woon showed courage and devotion to duty throughout these bitter engagements.

Indian Campaigns

REED, JAMES C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Arizona, 29 April 1868. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 24 July 1869. Citation: Defended his position (with 3 others) against a party of 17 hostile Indians under heavy fire at close quarters, the entire party except himself being severely wounded.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 28 April

There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumous.  They are from two wars, three fights that occurred during the Indian Campaigns and World War II.

Indian Campaigns.  A very small skirmish, but one that looms large to the locals.

HEYL, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at: Camden, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 26 October 1897. Citation: Voluntarily, and with most conspicuous gallantry, charged with 3 men upon 6 Indians who were entrenched upon a hillside.

LEONARD, PATRICK T.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.

LYTTON, JEPTHA L.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lawrence County, Ind. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.

World War II.  Private Minue charges machineguns, alone, bayonet fixed.  Private Ruiz, sans the bayonet, does pretty much the same thing, albeit with a happier outcome for himself.

*MINUE, NICHOLAS

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 6th Armored Infantry, 1st Armored Division. Place and date: Near MedjezelBab, Tunisia, 28 April 1943. Entered service at: Carteret, N.J. Birth: Sedden, Poland. G.O. No.: 24, 25 March 1944. Citation: For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the loss of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 28 April 1943, in the vicinity of MedjezelBab, Tunisia. When the advance of the assault elements of Company A was held up by flanking fire from an enemy machinegun nest, Pvt. Minue voluntarily, alone, and unhesitatingly, with complete disregard of his own welfare, charged the enemy entrenched position with fixed bayonet. Pvt. Minue assaulted the enemy under a withering machinegun and rifle fire, killing approximately 10 enemy machinegunners and riflemen. After completely destroying this position, Pvt. Minue continued forward, routing enemy riflemen from dugout positions until he was fatally wounded. The courage, fearlessness and aggressiveness displayed by Pvt. Minue in the face of inevitable death was unquestionably the factor that gave his company the offensive spirit that was necessary for advancing and driving the enemy from the entire sector.

RUIZ, ALEJANDRO R. RENTERIA

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division. Place and date: Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 28 April 1945. Entered service at: Carlsbad, N. Mex. Birth: Loving, N. Mex. G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946. Citation: When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machinegun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from 1 opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz’s heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit’s advance.

And a new one, for Korea.  Negron’s’ award was made in 2014, resulting from a review of awards for possibly having been downgraded due to racial prejudice. The abbreviated citation is not unusual with those awards.

NEGRON, JUAN E.

Then-Sgt. Juan E. Negron distinguished himself on April 28, 1951, for actions near Kalma-Eri, Korea. Negron held the most vulnerable position on his company’s exposed right flank after an enemy force had overrun a section of the line. He held the position throughout the night, accurately hurling hand grenades at short range when hostile troops approached his position.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 27 April

There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day, none of them posthumous. There are two naval lifesaving awards, one of which is a second award. The Medals span the Civil War, two Interim Award periods (which are exclusively naval lifesaving awards) and the Philippine Insurrection.

Civil War

BURRITT, WILLIAM W.

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 113th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 27 April 1863. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Campbell, N.Y. Date of issue: 8 July 1896. Citation: Voluntarily acted as a fireman on a steam tug which ran the blockade and passed the batteries under a heavy fire.

Interim Awards, 1871-1898. Weisbogel is an interesting fella – he is a double-award winner, and both are naval lifesaving Medals, his first being earned on 11 January, 1874.

WEISBOGEL, ALBERT (SECOND AWARD)

Rank and organization: Captain of the Mizzen Top, U.S. Navy. Born: 1844, New Orleans, La. Accredited to: Louisiana. G.O. No.: 207, 23 March 1876; 212, 9 June 1876. Citation: For gallant conduct in jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Plymouth, at sea, and rescuing from drowning one of the crew of that vessel on 27 April 1876.

Philippine Insurrection. Watch out for that Kansas Infantry, especially that Funston fellow.

FUNSTON, FREDERICK

Rank and organization: Colonel, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Rio Grande de la Pampanga, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Iola, Kans. Birth: Springfield, Ohio. Date of issue: 14 February 1900. Citation: Crossed the river on a raft and by his skill and daring enabled the general commanding to carry the enemy’s entrenched position on the north bank of the river and to drive him with great loss from the important strategic position of Calumpit.

TREMBLEY, WILLIAM B.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Calumpit, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Kansas City, Kans. Birth: Johnson, Kans. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Swam the Rio Grande de Pampanga in face of the enemy’s fire and fastened a rope to the occupied trenches, thereby enabling the crossing of the river and the driving of the enemy from his fortified position.

WHITE, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Calumpit, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Kansas City, Kans. Birth: Seneca, Kans. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Swam the Rio Grande de Pampanga in face of the enemy’s fire and fastened a rope to occupied trenches, thereby enabling the crossing of the river and the driving of the enemy from his fortified position.

Interim Awards, 1901-1911

QUICK, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Coxwain, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Yokohama, Japan, 27 April 1902. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. G.O. No.: 93, 7 July 1902. Citation: For heroism in rescuing Walenty Wisnieroski, Machinist Second Class, from drowning at Yokohama, Japan, 27 April 1902, while serving on board the U.S.S. Yorktown.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 26 April

There are nine Medals awarded for actions on this day, and this grouping has some interesting fillips scattered among them. They span the Civil War, Indian Campaigns, Philippine Insurrection, Korea and Vietnam. Three awards are posthumous.

Civil War. Cox’n Cooper earns his second award, the first being earned at Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864.

COOPER, JOHN (SECOND AWARD)

Citation: Served as quartermaster on Acting Rear Admiral Thatcher’s staff. During the terrific fire at Mobile, on 26 April 1865, at the risk of being blown to pieces by exploding shells, Cooper advanced through the burning locality, rescued a wounded man from certain death, and bore him on his back to a place of safety.

Indian Campaigns. Mr. Cody’s Medal was the subject of some controversy, finally settled in 1989.

CODY, WILLIAM F.

Rank: Civilian Scout. Born: Scott County, Iowa. Organization: 3rd Cavalry U.S. Army. Action date: 26 April 1872. Place: Platte River, Nebraska. Citation: Gallantry in action.

(In 1916, the general review of all Medals of Honor deemed 900 unwarranted. This recipient was one of them. In June 1989, the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Records restored the medal to this recipient.)

FOLEY, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Fork, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 22 May 1872. Citation: Gallantry in action.

STRAYER, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Forke, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Maytown, Pa. Date of issue: 22 May 18721. Citation: Gallantry in action.

VOKES, LEROY H.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Fork, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lake County, Ill. Date of issue: 22 May 1872. Citation: Gallantry in action.

Philippine Insurrection

SHELTON, GEORGE M.

Rank and organization: Private, Company 1, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At La Paz, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 26 April 1900. Entered service at: Bellington, Tex. Birth: Brownwood, Tex. Date of issue: 10 March 1902. Citation: Advanced alone under heavy fire of the enemy and rescued a wounded comrade.

Korean War. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

*DUKE, RAY E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Mugok, Korea, 26 April 1951. Entered service at: Whitwell (Marion County), Tenn. Born: 9 May 1923, Whitwell, Tenn. G.O. No.: 20, 19 March 1954. Citation: Sfc. Duke, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Upon learning that several of his men were isolated and heavily engaged in an area yielded by his platoon when ordered to withdraw, he led a small force in a daring assault which recovered the position and the beleaguered men. Another enemy attack in strength resulted in numerous casualties but Sfc. Duke, although wounded by mortar fragments, calmly moved along his platoon line to coordinate fields of fire and to urge his men to hold firm in the bitter encounter. Wounded a second time he received first aid and returned to his position. When the enemy again attacked shortly after dawn, despite his wounds, Sfc. Duke repeatedly braved withering fire to insure maximum defense of each position. Threatened with annihilation and with mounting casualties, the platoon was again ordered to withdraw when Sfc. Duke was wounded a third time in both legs and was unable to walk. Realizing that he was impeding the progress of 2 comrades who were carrying him from the hill, he urged them to leave him and seek safety. He was last seen pouring devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants. The consummate courage, superb leadership, and heroic actions of Sfc. Duke, displayed during intensive action against overwhelming odds, reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam War. Captain Estocin’s Medal action was clear, but questions surrounding his death or capture clouded things until 1993.

*ESTOCIN, MICHAEL J.

Rank and organization. Captain (then Lt. Cmdr.), U.S. Navy, Attack Squadron 192, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Place and date: Haiphong, North Vietnam, 20 and 26 April 1967. Entered service at: Akron Ohio, 2() July 1954. Born: 27 April 1931, Turtle Creek, Pa. Citation. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 20 and 26 April 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron 192, embarked in USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Leading a 3-plane group of aircraft in support of a coordinated strike against two thermal power plants in Haiphong, North Vietnam, on 20 April 1967, Capt. Estocin provided continuous warnings to the strike group leaders of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats, and personally neutralized 3 SAM sites. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding missile, he reentered the target area and relentlessly prosecuted a SHRIKE attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. With less than 5 minutes of fuel remaining he departed the target area and commenced in-flight refueling which continued for over 100 miles. Three miles aft of Ticonderoga, and without enough fuel for a second approach, he disengaged from the tanker and executed a precise approach to a fiery arrested landing. On 26 April 1967, in support of a coordinated strike against the vital fuel facilities in Haiphong, he led an attack on a threatening SAM site, during which his aircraft was seriously damaged by an exploding SAM; nevertheless, he regained control of his burning aircraft and courageously launched his SHRIKE missiles before departing the area. By his inspiring courage and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Captain Estocin upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

*LEE, MILTON A.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). place and date: Near Phu Bai, Thua Thien province, Republic of Vietnam, 26 April 1968. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Born: 28 February 1949, Shreveport, La. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Lee distinguished himself near the city of Phu Bai in the province of Thua Thien. Pfc. Lee was serving as the radio telephone operator with the 3d platoon, Company B. As lead element for the company, the 3d platoon received intense surprise hostile fire from a force of North Vietnamese Army regulars in well-concealed bunkers. With 50 percent casualties, the platoon maneuvered to a position of cover to treat their wounded and reorganize, while Pfc. Lee moved through the heavy enemy fire giving lifesaving first aid to his wounded comrades. During the subsequent assault on the enemy defensive positions, Pfc. Lee continuously kept close radio contact with the company commander, relaying precise and understandable orders to his platoon leader. While advancing with the front rank toward the objective, Pfc. Lee observed 4 North Vietnamese soldiers with automatic weapons and a rocket launcher Lying in wait for the lead element of the platoon. As the element moved forward, unaware of the concealed danger, Pfc. Lee immediately and with utter disregard for his own personal safety, passed his radio to another soldier and charged through the murderous fire. Without hesitation he continued his assault, overrunning the enemy position, killing all occupants and capturing 4 automatic weapons and a rocket launcher. Pfc. Lee continued his 1-man assault on the second position through a heavy barrage of enemy automatic weapons fire. Grievously wounded, he continued to press the attack, crawling forward into a firing position and delivering accurate covering fire to enable his platoon to maneuver and destroy the position. Not until the position was overrun did Pfc. Lee falter in his steady volume of fire and succumb to his wounds. Pfc. Lee’s heroic actions saved the lives of the lead element and were instrumental in the destruction of the key position of the enemy defense. Pfc. Lee’s gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, the 502d Infantry, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 25 April

There are sixteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, two of them posthumous.  They span the Civil War, Indian Campaigns, World War II and Vietnam.

Civil War. Nine naval Medals actions during the assault on New Orleans, 1862.  Navy citation writers from this era are much more interesting and informative than their terse Army counterparts.

BRENNAN, CHRISTOPHER

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1832, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Mississippi during attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and during the taking of New Orleans, 24-25 April 1862. Taking part in the actions which resulted in the damaging of the Mississippi and several casualties on it, Brennan showed skill and courage throughout the entire engagements which resulted in the taking of St. Philip and Jackson and in the surrender of New Orleans.

BUCK, JAMES

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1808, Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Brooklyn in the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip and at the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Although severely wounded by a heavy splinter, Buck continued to perform his duty until positively ordered below. Later stealing back to his post, he steered the ship for 8 hours despite his critical condition. His bravery was typical of the type which resulted in the taking of the Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in the capture of New Orleans.

FLOOD, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Boy, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and at the taking of new Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Swept from the bridge by a shell which wounded the signal quartermaster, Flood returned to the bridge after assisting the wounded man below and taking over his duties, “Performed them with coolness, exactitude and the fidelity of a veteran seaman. His intelligence and character cannot be spoken of too warmly.”

McLEOD, JAMES

Rank and organization: Captain of the Foretop, U.S. Navy. Born: Scotland. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of foretop, and a volunteer from the Colorado, McLeod served on board the U.S.S. Pensacola during the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Acting as gun captain of the rifled howitzer aft which was much exposed, he served this piece with great ability and activity, although no officer superintended it.

PARKER, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Captain of the Afterguard, U.S. Navy. Birth: Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: At the wheel on board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson, and New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern, Parker conscientiously performed his duties throughout the action in which attempts by 3 rebel steamers to butt and board were thwarted, and the ships driven off. Eleven gunboats were successfully engaged and the enemy garrisons forced to surrender during this battle in which the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

RICHARDS, LOUIS

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Richards served as quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and at the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Through all the din and roar of battle, he steered the ship through the narrow opening of the barricade, and his attention to orders contributed to the successful passage of the ship without once fouling the shore or the obstacles of the barricade.

SHUTES, HENRY

Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Born: 1804, Baltimore, Md. Accredited to: Maryland. G.O. No.: 71, 15 January 1866. Citation: Served as captain of the forecastle on board the U.S.S. Wissahickon during the battle of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862; and in the engagement at Fort McAllister, 27 February 1863. Going on board the U.S.S. Wissahickon from the U.S.S. Don where his seamanlike qualities as gunner’s mate were outstanding, Shutes performed his duties with skill and courage. Showing a presence of mind and prompt action when a shot from Fort McAllister penetrated the Wissahickon below the water line and entered the powder magazine, Shutes contributed materially to the preservation of the powder and safety of the ship.

WRIGHT, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1829, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern Wright conscientiously performed his duties throughout the action in which attempts by 3 rebel steamers to butt and board were repelled, and the ships driven off or forced to surrender. Eleven gunboats were successfully engaged and the enemy garrisons captured during this battle in which the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

YOUNG, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. navy. Born: 1835, New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern, Young calmly manned a Parrot gun throughout the action in which attempts by three rebel steamers to butt and board were thwarted and the ships driven off or captured, 11 gunboats were successfully engaged and garrisons forced to surrender. During the battle, the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

Indian Campaigns.  Put aside Judge Roy Bean, because for a while, these men were the Law along the Pecos.

FACTOR, POMPEY

Rank and organization: Private, Indian Scouts. Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at:——. Birth: Arkansas. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation: With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

PAYNE, ISAAC

Rank and organization: Trumpeter, Indian Scouts. Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Mexico. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation: With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

WARD, JOHN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, 24th U.S. Infantry Indian Scouts Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at. Fort Duncan, Tex. Birth: Arkansas. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation. With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

World War II.

*GONZALES, DAVID M.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 25 April 1945. Entered service at: Pacoima, Calif. Birth: Pacoima, Calif. G.O. No.: 115, 8 December 1945. Citation: He was pinned down with his company. As enemy fire swept the area, making any movement extremely hazardous, a 500-pound bomb smashed into the company’s perimeter, burying 5 men with its explosion. Pfc. Gonzales, without hesitation, seized an entrenching tool and under a hail of fire crawled 15 yards to his entombed comrades, where his commanding officer, who had also rushed forward, was beginning to dig the men out. Nearing his goal, he saw the officer struck and instantly killed by machinegun fire. Undismayed, he set to work swiftly and surely with his hands and the entrenching tool while enemy sniper and machinegun bullets struck all about him. He succeeded in digging one of the men out of the pile of rock and sand. To dig faster he stood up regardless of the greater danger from so exposing himself. He extricated a second man, and then another. As he completed the liberation of the third, he was hit and mortally wounded, but the comrades for whom he so gallantly gave his life were safely evacuated. Pfc. Gonzales’ valiant and intrepid conduct exemplifies the highest tradition of the military service.

*KNIGHT, RAYMOND L. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: In Northern Po Valley, Italy, 24-25 April 1945. Entered service at: Houston, Tex. Birth: Texas. G.O. No.: 81, 24 September 1945. Citation: He piloted a fighter-bomber aircraft in a series of low-level strafing missions, destroying 14 grounded enemy aircraft and leading attacks which wrecked 10 others during a critical period of the Allied drive in northern Italy. On the morning of 24 April, he volunteered to lead 2 other aircraft against the strongly defended enemy airdrome at Ghedi. Ordering his fellow pilots to remain aloft, he skimmed the ground through a deadly curtain of antiaircraft fire to reconnoiter the field, locating 8 German aircraft hidden beneath heavy camouflage. He rejoined his flight, briefed them by radio, and then led them with consummate skill through the hail of enemy fire in a low-level attack, destroying 5 aircraft, while his flight accounted for 2 others. Returning to his base, he volunteered to lead 3 other aircraft in reconnaissance of Bergamo airfield, an enemy base near Ghedi and 1 known to be equally well defended. Again ordering his flight to remain out of range of antiaircraft fire, 1st Lt. Knight flew through an exceptionally intense barrage, which heavily damaged his Thunderbolt, to observe the field at minimum altitude. He discovered a squadron of enemy aircraft under heavy camouflage and led his flight to the assault. Returning alone after this strafing, he made 10 deliberate passes against the field despite being hit by antiaircraft fire twice more, destroying 6 fully loaded enemy twin-engine aircraft and 2 fighters. His skillfully led attack enabled his flight to destroy 4 other twin-engine aircraft and a fighter plane. He then returned to his base in his seriously damaged plane. Early the next morning, when he again attacked Bergamo, he sighted an enemy plane on the runway. Again he led 3 other American pilots in a blistering low-level sweep through vicious antiaircraft fire that damaged his plane so severely that it was virtually nonflyable. Three of the few remaining enemy twin-engine aircraft at that base were destroyed. Realizing the critical need for aircraft in his unit, he declined to parachute to safety over friendly territory and unhesitatingly attempted to return his shattered plane to his home field. With great skill and strength, he flew homeward until caught by treacherous air conditions in the Appennines Mountains, where he crashed and was killed. The gallant action of 1st Lt. Knight eliminated the German aircraft which were poised to wreak havoc on Allied forces pressing to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River; his fearless daring and voluntary self-sacrifice averted possible heavy casualties among ground forces and the resultant slowing on the German drive culminated in the collapse of enemy resistance in Italy.

Vietnam

SPRAYBERRY, JAMES M .

Rank and organization: Captain (then 1st Lt.), U.S. Army, Company D, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry , 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 24 April 1947, LaGrange, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Sprayberry, Armor, U.S. Army, distinguished himself by exceptional bravery while serving as executive officer of Company D. His company commander and a great number of the men were wounded and separated from the main body of the company. A daylight attempt to rescue them was driven back by the well entrenched enemy’s heavy fire. Capt. Sprayberry then organized and led a volunteer night patrol to eliminate the intervening enemy bunkers and to relieve the surrounded element. The patrol soon began receiving enemy machinegun fire. Capt. Sprayberry quickly moved the men to protective cover and without regard for his own safety, crawled within close range of the bunker from which the fire was coming. He silenced the machinegun with a hand grenade. Identifying several l-man enemy positions nearby, Capt. Sprayberry immediately attacked them with the rest of his grenades. He crawled back for more grenades and when 2 grenades were thrown at his men from a position to the front, Capt. Sprayberry, without hesitation, again exposed himself and charged the enemy-held bunker killing its occupants with a grenade. Placing 2 men to cover his advance, he crawled forward and neutralized 3 more bunkers with grenades. Immediately thereafter, Capt. Sprayberry was surprised by an enemy soldier who charged from a concealed position. He killed the soldier with his pistol and with continuing disregard for the danger neutralized another enemy emplacement. Capt. Sprayberry then established radio contact with the isolated men, directing them toward his position. When the 2 elements made contact he organized his men into litter parties to evacuate the wounded. As the evacuation was nearing completion, he observed an enemy machinegun position which he silenced with a grenade. Capt. Sprayberry returned to the rescue party, established security, and moved to friendly lines with the wounded. This rescue operation, which lasted approximately 71/2 hours, saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. Capt. Sprayberry personally killed 12 enemy soldiers, eliminated 2 machineguns, and destroyed numerous enemy bunkers. Capt. Sprayberry’s indomitable spirit and gallant action at great personal risk to his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

STUMPF, KENNETH E.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 28 September 1944, Neenah, Wis. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Stumpf distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader of the 3d Platoon, Company C, on a search and destroy mission. As S/Sgt. Stumpf’s company approached a village, it encountered a North Vietnamese rifle company occupying a well fortified bunker complex. During the initial contact, 3 men from his squad fell wounded in front of a hostile machinegun emplacement. The enemy’s heavy volume of fire prevented the unit from moving to the aid of the injured men, but S/Sgt. Stumpf left his secure position in a deep trench and ran through the barrage of incoming rounds to reach his wounded comrades. He picked up 1 of the men and carried him back to the safety of the trench. Twice more S/Sgt. Stumpf dashed forward while the enemy turned automatic weapons and machineguns upon him, yet he managed to rescue the remaining 2 wounded squad members. He then organized his squad and led an assault against several enemy bunkers from which continuously heavy fire was being received He and his squad successfully eliminated 2 of the bunker positions, but one to the front of the advancing platoon remained a serious threat. Arming himself with extra hand grenades, S/Sgt. Stumpf ran over open ground, through a volley of fire directed at him by a determined enemy, toward the machinegun position. As he reached the bunker, he threw a hand grenade through the aperture. It was immediately returned by the occupants, forcing S/Sgt. Stumpf to take cover. Undaunted, he pulled the pins on 2 more grenades, held them for a few seconds after activation, then hurled them into the position, this time successfully destroying the emplacement. With the elimination of this key position, his unit was able to assault and overrun the enemy. S/Sgt. Stumpf’s relentless spirit of aggressiveness, intrepidity, and ultimate concern for the lives of his men, are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 24 April

There are fifteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, two of them posthumous.
Civil War

BOURNE, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Seaman and Gun Captain, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served as captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and while under fire and ramming by the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range while his ship was under furious fire and was twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, Bourne remained steadfast at his gun and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, badly damaged and forced to beach, was finally sunk.

BRADLEY, AMOS

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, Dansville, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Varuna in one of the most responsible positions, during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and while in action against the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. Although guns were raking the decks from behind him, Bradley remained steadfast at the wheel throughout the thickest of the fight, continuing at his station and rendering service with the greatest courage until his ship, repeatedly holed and twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, was beached and sunk.

FARRELL, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1833, Saratoga, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Owasco during the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Stationed at the masthead during these operations, Farrell observed and reported the effect of the fire of our guns in such a manner as to make his intelligence, coolness and capacity conspicuous.

FRISBEE, JOHN B.

Rank and organization: Gunner’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1822, Maine, Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Pinola during action against Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and during the taking of New Orleans, 24 April 1862. While engaged in the bombardment of Fort St. Philip, Frisbee, acting courageously and without personal regard, closed the powder magazine which had been set afire by enemy shelling and shut off his avenue of escape, thereby setting a high example of bravery. He served courageously throughout these engagements which resulted in the taking of the Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in the surrender of New Orleans.

GREENE, JOHN

Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York. Birth:——. G.O. No. 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and while under fire and ramming by the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range while his ship was under furious fire and twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, Greene remained steadfast at his gun throughout the thickest of the fight and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, badly damaged and forced to beach, was finally sunk.

HOLLAT, GEORGE

Rank and organization: Third Class Boy, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York. Birth: —–. G.O. No.: 1 I, 3 April 1863. Citation: Hollat served as third class boy on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. He rendered gallant service through the perilous action and remained steadfast and courageous at his battle station despite extremely heavy fire and the ramming of the Varuna by the rebel ship Morgan, continuing his efforts until his ship, repeatedly holed and fatally damaged, was beached and sunk.

LYONS, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Salem, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February, 1872. Citation: Served as seaman on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Carrying out his duties throughout the din and roar of the battle, Lyons never once erred in his brave performance. Lashed outside of that vessel, on the port-sheet chain, with the lead in hand to lead the ship past the forts, Lyons never flinched, although under a heavy fire from the forts and rebel gunboats

MARTIN, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1839, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. His ship was taken under furious fire by the rebel Morgan and severely damaged by ramming. Steadfast at his station through the thickest of the fight, Martin inflicted damage on the enemy, remaining cool and courageous although the Varuna, so badly damaged that she was forced to beach, was finally sunk.

McGOWAN, JOHN

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1831, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: McGowan occupied one of the most responsible positions on the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in action against the rebel ship Morgan on 24 April 1862. Although guns were raking the decks from behind him, McGowan remained steadfast at the wheel throughout the thickest of the fight, continuing at his station and rendering service with the greatest courage and skill until his ship, repeatedly holed and twice rammed by the enemy, was beached and sunk.

McKNIGHT, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840 Ulster County, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in action against the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range, while his ship was under furious fire and was twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, McKnight remained steadfast at his gun throughout the thickest of the fight and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, so badly damaged that she was forced to beach, was finally sunk.

PECK, OSCAR E.

Rank and organization: Second Class Boy, U.S. Navy. Born: 1848, Bridgeport, Conn. Accredited to: Connecticut. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Peck served as second_class boy on board the Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Acting as powder boy of the after rifle, Peck served gallantly while the Varuna was repeatedly attacked and rammed and finally sunk. This was an extremely close_range action and, although badly damaged, the Varuna delivered shells abaft the Morgan’s armor.

Second Nicaraguan Campaign

TRUESDELL, DONALD LEROY (Name officially changed to Truesdale )

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Vicinity Constancia, near Coco River, northern Nicaragua, 24 April 1932. Entered service at: South Carolina. Born: 8 August 1906, Lugoff, S.C. Citation: Cpl. Truesdale was second in command of a Guardia Nacional Patrol in active operations against armed bandit forces in the vicinity of Constancia, near Coco River, northern Nicaragua, on 24 April 1932. While the patrol was in formation on the trail searching for a bandit group with which contact had just previously been made, a rifle grenade fell from its carrier and struck a rock, igniting the detonator. Several men close to the grenade at the time were in danger. Cpl. Truesdale, who was several yards away, could easily have sought cover and safety for himself. Knowing full well the grenade would explode within 2 or 3 seconds, he rushed for the grenade, grasped it in his right hand, and attempted to throw it away from the patrol. The grenade exploded in his hand, blowing it off and inflicting serious multiple wounds about his body. Cpl. Truesdale, in taking the full shock of the explosion himself, saved the members of the patrol from loss of life or serious injury.

World War II

*NELSON, WILLIAM L .

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Djebel Dardys, Northwest of Sedjenane, Tunisia, 24 April 1943. Entered service at: Middletown, Del. Birth: Dover, Del. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict. On the morning of 24 April 1943, Sgt. Nelson led his section of heavy mortars to a forward position where he placed his guns and men. Under intense enemy artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire, he advanced alone to a chosen observation position from which he directed the laying of a concentrated mortar barrage which successfully halted an initial enemy counterattack. Although mortally wounded in the accomplishment of his mission, and with his duty clearly completed, Sgt. Nelson crawled to a still more advanced observation point and continued to direct the fire of his section. Dying of handgrenade wounds and only 50 yards from the enemy, Sgt. Nelson encouraged his section to continue their fire and by doing so they took a heavy toll of enemy lives. The skill which Sgt. Nelson displayed in this engagement, his courage, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty and heroism resulting in the loss of his life, was a priceless inspiration to our Armed Forces and were in keeping with the highest tradition of the U.S. Army.

*SQUIRES, JOHN C .

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Company A, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Padiglione, Italy, 23-24 April 1944. Entered service at: Louisville, Ky. Birth: Louisville, Ky. G.O. No.: 78, 2 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At the start of his company’s attack on strongly held enemy positions in and around Spaccasassi Creek, near Padiglione, Italy, on the night of 23-24 April 1944, Pfc. Squires, platoon messenger, participating in his first offensive action, braved intense artillery, mortar, and antitank gun fire in order to investigate the effects of an antitank mine explosion on the leading platoon. Despite shells which burst close to him, Pfc. Squires made his way 50 yards forward to the advance element, noted the situation, reconnoitered a new route of advance and informed his platoon leader of the casualties sustained and the alternate route. Acting without orders, he rounded up stragglers, organized a group of lost men into a squad and led them forward. When the platoon reached Spaccasassi Creek and established an outpost, Pfc. Squires, knowing that almost all of the noncommissioned officers were casualties, placed 8 men in position of his own volition, disregarding enemy machinegun, machine-pistol, and grenade fire which covered the creek draw. When his platoon had been reduced to 14 men, he brought up reinforcements twice. On each trip he went through barbed wire and across an enemy minefield, under intense artillery and mortar fire. Three times in the early morning the outpost was counterattacked. Each time Pfc. Squires ignored withering enemy automatic fire and grenades which struck all around him, and fired hundreds of rounds of rifle, Browning automatic rifle, and captured German Spandau machinegun ammunition at the enemy, inflicting numerous casualties and materially aiding in repulsing the attacks. Following these fights, he moved 50 yards to the south end of the outpost and engaged 21 German soldiers in individual machinegun duels at point-blank range, forcing all 21 enemy to surrender and capturing 13 more Spandau guns. Learning the function of this weapon by questioning a German officer prisoner, he placed the captured guns in position and instructed other members of his platoon in their operation. The next night when the Germans attacked the outpost again he killed 3 and wounded more Germans with captured potato-masher grenades and fire from his Spandau gun. Pfc. Squires was killed in a subsequent action.

Korean War

WILSON, HAROLD E.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company G, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 23-24 April 1951. Entered service at: Birmingham, Ala. Born: S December 1921, Birmingham, Ala. Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon sergeant of a rifle platoon attached to Company G, in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night of 23-24 April 1951. When the company outpost was overrun by the enemy while his platoon, firing from hastily constructed foxholes, was engaged in resisting the brunt of a fierce mortar, machine gun, grenade, and small-arms attack launched by hostile forces from high ground under cover of darkness, T/Sgt. Wilson braved intense fire to assist the survivors back into the line and to direct the treatment of casualties. Although twice wounded by gunfire, in the right arm and the left leg, he refused medical aid for himself and continued to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement. After receiving further wounds in the head and shoulder as the attack increased in intensity, he again insisted upon remaining with his unit. Unable to use either arm to fire, and with mounting casualties among our forces, he resupplied his men with rifles and ammunition taken from the wounded. Personally reporting to his company commander on several occasions, he requested and received additional assistance when the enemy attack became even more fierce and, after placing the reinforcements in strategic positions in the line, directed effective fire until blown off his feet by the bursting of a hostile mortar round in his face. Dazed and suffering from concussion, he still refused medical aid and, despite weakness from loss of blood, moved from foxhole to foxhole, directing fire, resupplying ammunition, rendering first aid, and encouraging his men. By his heroic actions in the face of almost certain death, when the unit’s ability to hold the disadvantageous position was doubtful, he instilled confidence in his troops, inspiring them to rally repeatedly and turn back the furious assaults. At dawn, after the final attack had been repulsed, he personally accounted for each man in his platoon before walking unassisted l/2 mile to the aid station where he submitted to treatment. His outstanding courage, initiative, and skilled leadership in the face of overwhelming odds were contributing factors in the success of his company’s mission and reflect the highest credit upon T/Sgt. Wilson and the U.S. Naval Service.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 23 April

There are twelve Medals awarded for actions on this day.  One during the Civil War, 10 during the Indian Campaigns, and one during World War I.  None were posthumous.

Civil War.  Terse words for what was undoubtedly an, um, exciting situation.

BEEBE, WILLIAM S.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Ordnance Department, U.S. Army. Place and date: At Cane River Crossing, La., 23 April 1864. Entered service at: Thompson, Conn. Born: 14 February 1841, Ithaca, N.Y. Date of issue: 30 June 1897. Citation: Voluntarily led a successful assault on a fortified position.

Indian Campaigns.  Two Medals for Horseshoe Canyon, NM in 1882, and eight for the battle of Sappa Creek, KS in 1875.  Interesting coincidence, on the day the soldiers of the 6th Cavalry were earning their Medals, a similar number of soldiers of the 5th Infantry were receiving their Medals for the Battle of the Upper Washita, fought in Texas the previous September.

AYERS, JAMES F.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Collinstown, Va. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: Rapid pursuit, gallantry, energy, and enterprise in an engagement with Indians.

DAWSON, MICHAEL

Rank and organization: Trumpeter, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: Gallantry in action.

GARDINER, PETER W.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date. At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Carlisle, N.Y. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With 5 other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

HORNADAY, SIMPSON

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Hendricks County, Ind. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With 5 other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column . This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance .

LOWTHERS, JAMES

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With S other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

PLATTEN, FREDERICK

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With S other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

ROBBINS, MARCUS M.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Elba, Wis. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With 5 other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

SCHNITZER, JOHN

Rank and organization: Wagoner, Troop G, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Horseshoe Canyon, N. Mex., 23 April 1882. Entered service at:——. Birth: Bavaria. Date of issue: 17 August 1896. Citation: Assisted, under a heavy fire, to rescue a wounded comrade.

TEA, RICHARD L.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at:——. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 16 November 1876. Citation: With 5 other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

WILDER, WILBER E.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Horseshoe Canyon, N. Mex., 23 April 1882. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Atlas, Mich. Date of issue: 17 August 1896. Citation: Assisted, under a heavy fire, to rescue a wounded comrade.

World War I.  A dentist acts as a surgeon.

LYLE, ALEXANDER GORDON

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander (Dental Corps), U.S. Navy. Born: 12 November 1889, Gloucester, Mass. Appointed from: Massachusetts. Other Navy award: Legion of Merit. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps. Under heavy shellfire, on 23 April 1918, on the French Front, Lt. Comdr. Lyle rushed to the assistance of Cpl. Thomas Regan, who was seriously wounded, and administered such effective surgical aid while bombardment was still continuing, as to save the life of Cpl. Regan.