Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 12 April

There are nine Medals awarded for actions on this day. One is a posthumous award. They span from naval lifesaving awards in 1872 though the Philippine Insurrection, and World War II.

Interim Awards, 1871-1898

DENHAM, AUSTIN

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1849, England. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Kansas near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872. Displaying great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned, Denham, by heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life.

HILL, GEORGE

Rank and organization: Chief Quarter Gunner, U.S. Navy. Born: 1844, England. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kansas, Hill displayed great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned, near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872, and by extraordinary heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life.

JOHNSON, JOHN

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1839, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kansas near Greytown, Nicaragua 12 April 1872, Johnson displayed great coolness and self-possession ai the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned and, by extraordinary heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life

O’NEAL, JOHN

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Ireland. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kansas, O’Neal displayed great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872, and by personal exertion prevented greater loss of life.

PILE, RICHARD

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1849, West Indies. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kansas, Pile displayed great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned, near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872, and by his extraordinary heroism and personal exertion prevented greater loss of life.

SMITH, JAMES

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Hawaiian Islands. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kansas, Smith displayed great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872, and by extraordinary heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life.

Philippine Insurrection

SLETTELAND, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 1st North Dakota Infantry. Place and date: Near Paete, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 12 April 1899. Entered service at: Grafton, N. Dak. Birth: Norway. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Single-handed and alone defended his dead and wounded comrades against a greatly superior force of the enemy.

World War II

ERWIN, HENRY E. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 52d Bombardment Squadron, 29th Bombardment Group, 20th Air Force. Place and date: Koriyama, Japan, 12 April 1945. Entered service at: Bessemer, Ala. Born: 8 May 1921, Adamsville, Ala. G.O. No.: 44, 6 June 1945. Citation: He was the radio operator of a B-29 airplane leading a group formation to attack Koriyama, Japan. He was charged with the additional duty of dropping phosphoresce smoke bombs to aid in assembling the group when the launching point was reached. Upon entering the assembly area, aircraft fire and enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Among the phosphoresce bombs launched by S/Sgt. Erwin, 1 proved faulty, exploding in the launching chute, and shot back into the interior of the aircraft, striking him in the face. The burning phosphoresce obliterated his nose and completely blinded him. Smoke filled the plane, obscuring the vision of the pilot. S/Sgt. Erwin realized that the aircraft and crew would be lost if the burning bomb remained in the plane. Without regard for his own safety, he picked it up and feeling his way, instinctively, crawled around the gun turret and headed for the copilot’s window. He found the navigator’s table obstructing his passage. Grasping the burning bomb between his forearm and body, he unleashed the spring lock and raised the table. Struggling through the narrow passage he stumbled forward into the smoke-filled pilot’s compartment. Groping with his burning hands, he located the window and threw the bomb out. Completely aflame, he fell back upon the floor. The smoke cleared, the pilot, at 300 feet, pulled the plane out of its dive. S/Sgt. Erwin’s gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty saved the lives of his comrades

*HASTINGS, JOE R.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 386th Infantry, 97th Infantry Division. Place and date: Drabenderhohe, Germany, 12 April 1945. Entered service at: Magnolia, Ohio. Birth: Malvern, Ohio. G.O. No.: 101, 8 November 1945. Citation: He fought gallantly during an attack against strong enemy forces defending Drabenderhohe, Germany, from the dug-in positions on commanding ground. As squad leader of a light machinegun section supporting the advance of the 1st and 3d Platoons, he braved direct rifle, machinegun, 20mm., and mortar fire, some of which repeatedly missed him only by inches, and rushed forward over 350 yards of open, rolling fields to reach a position from which he could fire on the enemy troops. From this vantage point he killed the crews of a 20mm. gun and a machinegun, drove several enemy riflemen from their positions, and so successfully shielded the 1st Platoon, that it had time to reorganize and remove its wounded to safety. Observing that the 3d Platoon to his right was being met by very heavy 40mm. and machinegun fire, he ran 150 yards with his gun to the leading elements of that unit, where he killed the crew of the 40mm. gun. As spearhead of the 3d Platoon’s attack, he advanced, firing his gun held at hip height, disregarding the bullets that whipped past him, until the assault had carried 175 yards to the objective. In this charge he and the riflemen he led killed or wounded many of the fanatical enemy and put 2 machineguns out of action. Pfc. Hastings, by his intrepidity, outstanding leadership, and unrelenting determination to wipe out the formidable German opposition, cleared the path for his company’s advance into Drabenderhohe. He was killed 4 days later while again supporting the 3d Platoon.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 11 April

There are five Medals awarded for actions on this day, three of them posthumous. They span from the Civil War to World War II to Vietnam. All the Medals from Vietnam were posthumous.

Civil War. The Civil War iconic Medal. Flag capture.

DORLEY, AUGUST

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 1st Louisiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Mount Pleasant, Ala., 11 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Capture of flag.

World War II. Earning that pilot pay.

MICHAEL, EDWARD S. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 364th Bomber Squadron, 305th Bomber Group. Place and date: Over Germany, 11 April 1944. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 2 May 1918, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as pilot of a B17 aircraft on a heavy-bombardment mission to Germany, 11 April 1944. The group in which 1st Lt. Michael was flying was attacked by a swarm of fighters. His plane was singled out and the fighters pressed their attacks home recklessly, completely disregarding the Allied fighter escort and their own intense flak. His plane was riddled from nose to tail with exploding cannon shells and knocked out of formation, with a large number of fighters following it down, blasting it with cannon fire as it descended. A cannon shell exploded in the cockpit, wounded the copilot, wrecked the instruments, and blew out the side window. 1st Lt. Michael was seriously and painfully wounded in the right thigh. Hydraulic fluid filmed over the windshield making visibility impossible, and smoke filled the cockpit. The controls failed to respond and 3,000 feet were lost before he succeeded in leveling off. The radio operator informed him that the whole bomb bay was in flames as a result of the explosion of 3 cannon shells, which had ignited the incendiaries. With a full load of incendiaries in the bomb bay and a considerable gas load in the tanks, the danger of fire enveloping the plane and the tanks exploding seemed imminent. When the emergency release lever failed to function, 1st Lt. Michael at once gave the order to bail out and 7 of the crew left the plane. Seeing the bombardier firing the navigator’s gun at the enemy planes, 1st Lt. Michael ordered him to bail out as the plane was liable to explode any minute. When the bombardier looked for his parachute he found that it had been riddled with 20mm. fragments and was useless. 1st Lt. Michael, seeing the ruined parachute, realized that if the plane was abandoned the bombardier would perish and decided that the only chance would be a crash landing. Completely disregarding his own painful and profusely bleeding wounds, but thinking only of the safety of the remaining crewmembers, he gallantly evaded the enemy, using violent evasive action despite the battered condition of his plane. After the plane had been under sustained enemy attack for fully 45 minutes, 1st Lt. Michael finally lost the persistent fighters in a cloud bank. Upon emerging, an accurate barrage of flak caused him to come down to treetop level where flak towers poured a continuous rain of fire on the plane. He continued into France, realizing that at any moment a crash landing might have to be attempted, but trying to get as far as possible to increase the escape possibilities if a safe landing could be achieved. 1st Lt. Michael flew the plane until he became exhausted from the loss of blood, which had formed on the floor in pools, and he lost consciousness. The copilot succeeded in reaching England and sighted an RAF field near the coast. 1st Lt. Michael finally regained consciousness and insisted upon taking over the controls to land the plane. The undercarriage was useless; the bomb bay doors were jammed open; the hydraulic system and altimeter were shot out. In addition, there was no airspeed indicator, the ball turret was jammed with the guns pointing downward, and the flaps would not respond. Despite these apparently insurmountable obstacles, he landed the plane without mishap.

Vietnam. Marine, Air Force, Army.

*DE LA GARZA, EMILIO A., JR.

Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, 11 April 1970. Entered service at: Chicago, 111. Born: 23 June 1949, East Chicago, Ind. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company E. Returning with his squad from a night ambush operation, L/Cpl. De La Garza joined his platoon commander and another marine in searching for 2 enemy soldiers who had been observed fleeing for cover toward a small pond. Moments later, he located 1 of the enemy soldiers hiding among the reeds and brush. As the 3 marines attempted to remove the resisting soldier from the pond, L/Cpl. De La Garza observed him pull the pin on a grenade. Shouting a warning, L/Cpl. De La Garza placed himself between the other 2 marines and the ensuing blast from the grenade, thereby saving the lives of his comrades at the sacrifice of his life. By his prompt and decisive action, and his great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, L/Cpl. De La Garza upheld and further enhanced the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

*PITSENBARGER WILLIAM H.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Airman First Class Pitsenbarger distinguished himself by extreme valor on 11 April 1966 near Cam My, Republic of Vietnam, while assigned as a Pararescue Crew Member, Detachment 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On that date, Airman Pitsenbarger was aboard a rescue helicopter responding to a call for evacuation of casualties incurred in an ongoing firefight between elements of the United States Army’s 1st Infantry Division and a sizeable enemy force approximately 35 miles east of Saigon. With complete disregard for personal safety, Airman Pitsenbarger volunteered to ride a hoist more than one hundred feet through the jungle, to the ground. On the ground, he organized and coordinated rescue efforts, cared for the wounded, prepared casualties for evacuation, and insured that the recovery operation continued in a smooth and orderly fashion. Through his personal efforts, the evacuation of the wounded was greatly expedited. As each of the nine casualties evacuated that day was recovered, Airman Pitsenbarger refused evacuation in order to get more wounded soldiers to safety. After several pick-ups, one of the two rescue helicopters involved in the evacuation was struck by heavy enemy ground fire and was forced to leave the scene for an emergency landing. Airman Pitsenbarger stayed behind on the ground to perform medical duties. Shortly thereafter, the area came under sniper and mortar fire. During a subsequent attempt to evacuate the site, American forces came under heavy assault by a large Viet Cong force. When the enemy launched the assault, the evacuation was called off and Airman Pitsenbarger took up arms with the besieged infantrymen. He courageously resisted the enemy, braving intense gunfire to gather and distribute vital ammunition to American defenders. As the battle raged on, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to care for the wounded, pull them out of the line of fire, and return fire whenever he could, during which time he was wounded three times. Despite his wounds, he valiantly fought on, simultaneously treating as many wounded as possible. In the vicious fighting that followed, the American forces suffered 80 percent casualties as their perimeter was breached, and Airman Pitsenbarger was fatally wounded. Airman Pitsenbarger exposed himself to almost certain death by staying on the ground, and perished while saving the lives of wounded infantrymen. His bravery and determination exemplify the highest professional standards and traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Air Force.

*ROBINSON, JAMES W., JR.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date:Cam My,Republic of Vietnam, 11 April 1966. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 30 August 1940, Hinsdale, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company C was engaged in fierce combat with a Viet Cong battalion. Despite the heavy fire, Sgt. Robinson moved among the men of his fire team, instructing and inspiring them, and placing them in advantageous positions. Enemy snipers located in nearby trees were inflicting heavy casualties on forward elements of Sgt. Robinson’s unit. Upon locating the enemy sniper whose fire was taking the heaviest toll, he took a grenade launcher and eliminated the sniper. Seeing a medic hit while administering aid to a wounded sergeant in front of his position and aware that now the 2 wounded men were at the mercy of the enemy, he charged through a withering hail of fire and dragged his comrades to safety, where he rendered first aid and saved their lives. As the battle continued and casualties mounted, Sgt. Robinson moved about under intense fire to collect from the wounded their weapons and ammunition and redistribute them to able-bodied soldiers. Adding his fire to that of his men, he assisted in eliminating a major enemy threat. Seeing another wounded comrade in front of his position, Sgt. Robinson again defied the enemy’s fire to effect a rescue. In so doing he was himself wounded in the shoulder and leg. Despite his painful wounds, he dragged the soldier to shelter and saved his life by administering first aid. While patching his own wounds, he spotted an enemy machinegun which had inflicted a number of casualties on the American force. His rifle ammunition expended, he seized 2 grenades and, in an act of unsurpassed heroism, charged toward the entrenched enemy weapon. Hit again in the leg, this time with a tracer round which set fire to his clothing, Sgt. Robinson ripped the burning clothing from his body and staggered indomitably through the enemy fire, now concentrated solely on him, to within grenade range of the enemy machinegun position. Sustaining 2 additional chest wounds, he marshaled his fleeting physical strength and hurled the 2 grenades, thus destroying the enemy gun position, as he fell dead upon the battlefield. His magnificent display of leadership and bravery saved several lives and inspired his soldiers to defeat the numerically superior enemy force. Sgt. Robinson’s conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon the 1st Infantry Division and the U.S. Armed Forces

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 10 April

There are three Medals awarded for actions on this day, and none were posthumous as a result of the action itself. One each for the Indian Campaigns, World War II and Vietnam. SP4 Duran’s is technically posthumous, not because he died during his action, but because his action wasn’t formally recognized until well after his death in 1977.

Indian Campaigns

GLOVER, T. B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Troop B, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Mizpah Creek, Mont., 10 April 1879; at Pumpkin Creek, Mont., 10 February 1880. Entered service at:——. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 20 November 1897. Citation: While in charge of small scouting parties, fought, charged, surrounded, and captured war parties of Sioux Indians.

World War II. Doing a lot with rather a little.

BULKELEY, JOHN DUNCAN

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, Commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Philippine waters, 7 December 1941 to 10 April 1942. Entered service at: Texas. Born: 19 August 1911, New York, N.Y. Other awards: Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit. Citation: For extraordinary heroism, distinguished service, and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, in Philippine waters during the period 7 December 1941 to 10 April 1942. The remarkable achievement of Lt. Comdr. Bulkeley’s command in damaging or destroying a notable number of Japanese enemy planes, surface combatant and merchant ships, and in dispersing landing parties and land-based enemy forces during the 4 months and 8 days of operation without benefit of repairs, overhaul, or maintenance facilities for his squadron, is believed to be without precedent in this type of warfare. His dynamic forcefulness and daring in offensive action, his brilliantly planned and skillfully executed attacks, supplemented by a unique resourcefulness and ingenuity, characterize him as an outstanding leader of men and a gallant and intrepid seaman. These qualities coupled with a complete disregard for his own personal safety reflect great credit upon him and the Naval Service

Vietnam. His duty position was “Acting” M60 machine gunner. I would say so – acting with wicked lethality and courage.

*DURAN, JESUS S

Rank and Organization: Specialist Fourth Class, Company E, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Tay Ninh, Republic of Vietnam, 10 April, 1969. Citation: Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an acting M-60 machine gunner in Company E, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on April 10, 1969. That afternoon, the reconnaissance platoon was moving into an elaborate enemy bunker complex when the lead elements began taking concentrated ambush fire from every side. The command post was in imminent danger of being overrun. With an M-60 machinegun blazing from his hip, Specialist Four Duran rushed forward and assumed a defensive position near the command post. As hostile forces stormed forward, Specialist Four Duran stood tall in a cloud of dust raised by the impacting rounds and bursting grenades directed towards him and thwarted the enemy with devastating streams of machinegun fire. Learning that two seriously wounded troopers lay helplessly pinned down under harassing fire, Specialist Four Duran assaulted the suppressive enemy positions, firing deadly bursts on the run. Mounting a log, he fired directly into the enemy’s foxholes, eliminating four and cutting down several others as they fled. Specialist Four Duran then continued to pour effective fire on the disorganized and fleeing enemy. Specialist Four Duran’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

*Asterisk indicates a posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 9 April

Another one of those busy days for the Medal as the Civil War approaches its denouement. There are twenty-five Medals awarded for actions on this day, from the Civil War to World War II. Two are posthumous.

Civil War. Twenty-three Medals, earned during the battles of Appomattox Courthouse (or for the whole campaign) and Fort Blakely, Alabama.

CALLAHAN, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 122d Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Macoupin County, Ill. Birth: Shelby County, Ky. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

CAREY, JAMES L.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 10th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Courthouse, Va., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: —— Birth: Onondaga County, N.Y. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Daring bravery and urging the men forward in a charge.

COOK, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 119th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Pleasant Hill, La., 9 April 1864. Entered service at: Quincy, Ill. Birth: England. Date of issue: 19 September 1890. Citation: During an attack by the enemy, voluntarily left the brigade quartermaster, with whom he had been detailed as a clerk, rejoined his command, and, acting as first lieutenant, led the line farther toward the charging enemy.

DONALDSON, JOHN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company L, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Courthouse, Va., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Butler County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 4th Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.).

FINKENBINER, HENRY S.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 107th Ohio Infantry Place and date: At Dingles Mill, S.C., 9 April 1865. Entered service at. ——. Birth: North Industry, Ohio. Date of issue: 30 March 1898. Citation: While on the advance skirmish line and within direct and close fire of the enemy’s artillery, crossed the mill race on a burning bridge and ascertained the enemy’s position.

FUNK, WEST

Rank and organization: Major, 121st Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Appomattox Courthouse, Va., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 15 October 1872. Citation: Capture of flag of 46th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

HIGBY, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Campaign, Va., 29 March to 9 April 1865. Entered service at: New Brighton, Pa. Birth: Pittsburgh, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

McCONNELL, SAMUEL

Rank and organization: Captain, Company H, 119th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Bushnell, McDonough County, Ill. Birth: Belmont County, Ohio. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: While leading his company in an assault, Capt. McConnell braved an intense fire that mowed down his unit. Upon reaching the breastworks he found that he had only one member of his company with him, Pvt. Wagner. He was so close to an enemy gun that the blast knocked him down a ditch. Getting up, he entered the gun pit, the guncrew fleeing before him. About 30 paces away he saw a Confederate flag bearer and guard which he captured with the last shot in his pistol.

MERRIAM, HENRY C.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 73d U.S. Colored Troops. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Houlton, Maine. Birth: Houlton, Maine. Date of issue: 28 June 1894. Citation: Volunteered to attack the enemy’s works in advance of orders and, upon permission being given, made a most gallant assault.

MILLER, HENRY A.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company B, 8th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Decatur, Ill. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag

MOORE, DANIEL B.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 11th Wisconsin Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Mifflin, Wis. Born: 12 June 1838, Iowa County, Wis. Date of issue: 8 August 1900. Citation: At the risk of his own life saved the life of an officer who had been shot down and overpowered by superior numbers.

MYERS, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 1st Maryland Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Courthouse, Va., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 14 June 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action; was 5 times wounded.

NICHOLS, HENRY C.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company E, 73d U.S. Colored Troops. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Brandon, Vt. Date of issue: 3 August 1897. Citation: Voluntarily made a reconnaissance in advance of the line held by his regiment and, under a heavy fire, obtained information of great value.

PAYNE, THOMAS H. L.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company E, 37th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Mendota, La Salle County, Ill. Born: 5 October 1840, Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: While acting regimental quartermaster, learning of an expected assault, requested assignment to a company that had no commissioned officers present; was so assigned, and was one of the first to lead his men into the enemy’s works.

PENTZER, PATRICK H.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 97th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Gillespie, Macoupin County, Ill. Birth: Marion County, Mo. Date of issue: 9 October 1 879. Citation: Among the first to enter the enemy’s entrenchments, he received the surrender of a Confederate general officer and his headquarters flag.

REBMANN, GEORGE F.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 119th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Browning, Schuyler County, Ill. Birth: Schuyler County, Ill. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

ROCKEFELLER, CHARLES M.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company A, 178th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 2 August 1897. Citation: Voluntarily and alone, under a heavy fire, obtained valuable information which a reconnoitering party of 25 men had previously attempted and failed to obtain, suffering severe loss in the attempt The information obtained by him was made the basis of the orders for the assault that followed. He also advanced with a few followers, under the fire of both sides, and captured 300 of the enemy who would otherwise have escaped.

SOVA., JOSEPH E.

Rank and organization: Saddler, Company H, 8th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Campaign, Va., 29 March to 9 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Chili, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

STICKELS, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 83d Ohio Infantry. Place and date. At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Bethany, Ohio. Birth: Butler County, Ohio. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

TOBIE, EDWARD P.

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 1st Maine Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Campaign, Va., 29 March to 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Lewiston, Maine. Birth: Lewiston, Maine. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: Though severely wounded at Sailors Creek, 6 April, and at Farmville, 7 April, refused to go to the hospital, but remained with his regiment, performed the full duties of adjutant upon the wounding of that officer, and was present for duty at Appomattox.

VIFQUAIN, VICTOR

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 97th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Saline County, Nebr. Birth: Belgium. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

WHEATON, LOYD

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 8th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Illinois. Born: 15 July 1838, Calhoun County, Mich. Date of issue: 16 January 1894. Citation: Led the right wing of his regiment, and, springing through an embrasure, was the first to enter the enemy’s works, against a strong fire of artillery and infantry.

WHITMORE, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 119th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Ft. Blakely, Ala., 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Camden, Schuyler County, Ill. Birth: Brown County, Ill. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

WOODALL, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Civilian scout, U.S. Army, Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s Headquarters, during Civil War. Place and date: Virginia, Appomattox campaign, Sailors Creek, March 29 to April 9, 1865. Entered service at Winchester, Virginia. Birthdate: unknown. Date of issue: 25 April 1865. Place: Washington, D.C., 3 May 1865. Note: Was Chief Civilian Scout for Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s Cavalry Corps, which consisted of VI and XIX Corps. Citation: Captured flag of Brigadier General Rufus Barringer’s headquarters brigade.

(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.)

World War II. Bookends, of a sort. The first Medal is in the opening campaign of the war against Germany, the second for the what turned out to be the closing ground campaign against Japan.

*BOOKER, ROBERT D.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Fondouk, Tunisia, 9 April 1943. Entered service at: Callaway, Nebr. Born: 11 July 1920, Callaway, Nebr. G.O. No.: 34, 25 April 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action. On 9 April 1943 in the vicinity of Fondouk, Tunisia, Pvt. Booker, while engaged in action against the enemy, carried a light machinegun and a box of ammunition over 200 yards of open ground. He continued to advance despite the fact that 2 enemy machineguns and several mortars were using him as an individual target. Although enemy artillery also began to register on him, upon reaching his objective he immediately commenced firing. After being wounded he silenced 1 enemy machinegun and was beginning to fire at the other when he received a second mortal wound. With his last remaining strength he encouraged the members of his squad and directed their fire. Pvt. Booker acted without regard for his own safety. His initiative and courage against insurmountable odds are an example of the highest standard of self-sacrifice and fidelity to duty.

*MOSKALA, EDWARD J.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 383d Infantry, 96th Infantry Division. Place and date: Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 9 April 1945. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 6 November 1921, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: He was the leading element when grenade explosions and concentrated machinegun and mortar fire halted the unit’s attack on Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he charged 40 yards through withering, grazing fire and wiped out 2 machinegun nests with well-aimed grenades and deadly accurate fire from his automatic rifle. When strong counterattacks and fierce enemy resistance from other positions forced his company to withdraw, he voluntarily remained behind with 8 others to cover the maneuver. Fighting from a critically dangerous position for 3 hours, he killed more than 25 Japanese before following his surviving companions through screening smoke down the face of the ridge to a gorge where it was discovered that one of the group had been left behind, wounded. Unhesitatingly, Pvt. Moskala climbed the bullet-swept slope to assist in the rescue, and, returning to lower ground, volunteered to protect other wounded while the bulk of the troops quickly took up more favorable positions. He had saved another casualty and killed 4 enemy infiltrators when he was struck and mortally wounded himself while aiding still another disabled soldier. With gallant initiative, unfaltering courage, and heroic determination to destroy the enemy, Pvt. Moskala gave his life in his complete devotion to his company’s mission and his comrades’ well-being. His intrepid conduct provided a lasting inspiration for those with whom he served.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 8 April

There are eight Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumous.  They span the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam.

Civil War.

ANDERSON, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Station, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Washington County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of Confederate flag.

BRAS, EDGAR A.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 8th Iowa Infantry. Place and date: Spanish Fort, Ala., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Louisa County, Iowa. Birth: Jefferson County, Iowa. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

READ, MORTON A.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company D, 8th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Station, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Brockport, N.Y. Birth: Brockport, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 1st Texas Infantry (C.S.A.).

SCHORN, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Chief Bugler, Company M, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Mason City, W. Va. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of the Sumter Flying Artillery (C.S.A.).

SHIELDS, BERNARD

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Ironton, Ohio. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of the Washington Artillery (C.S.A.).

World War II

CREWS, JOHN R.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 253d Infantry, 63d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Lobenbacherhof, Germany, 8 April 1945. Entered service at: Bowlegs, Okla. Birth: Golden, Okla. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 April 1945 near Lobenbacherhof, Germany. As his company was advancing toward the village under heavy fire, an enemy machinegun and automatic rifle with rifle support opened upon it from a hill on the right flank. Seeing that his platoon leader had been wounded by their fire, S/Sgt. Crews, acting on his own initiative, rushed the strongpoint with 2 men of his platoon. Despite the fact that 1 of these men was killed and the other was badly wounded, he continued his advance up the hill in the face of terrific enemy fire. Storming the well-dug-in position single-handedly, he killed 2 of the crew of the machinegun at pointblank range with his M 1 rifle and wrested the gun from the hands of the German whom he had already wounded. He then with his rifle charged the strongly emplaced automatic rifle. Although badly wounded in the thigh by crossfire from the remaining enemy, he kept on and silenced the entire position with his accurate and deadly rifle fire. His actions so unnerved the remaining enemy soldiers that 7 of them surrendered and the others fled. His heroism caused the enemy to concentrate on him and permitted the company to move forward into the village.

Vietnam

LITTRELL, GARY LEE

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Advisory Team 21, 11 Corps Advisory Group. place and date: Kontum province, Republic of Vietnam, 4-8 April 1970. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif. Born: 26 October 1944, Henderson, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Littrell, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Advisory Team 21, distinguished himself while serving as a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the 23d Battalion, 2d Ranger Group, Republic of Vietnam Army, near Dak Seang. After establishing a defensive perimeter on a hill on April 4, the battalion was subjected to an intense enemy mortar attack which killed the Vietnamese commander, 1 advisor, and seriously wounded all the advisors except Sfc. Littrell. During the ensuing 4 days, Sfc Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion. Repeatedly abandoning positions of relative safety, he directed artillery and air support by day and marked the unit’s location by night, despite the heavy, concentrated enemy fire. His dauntless will instilled in the men of the 23d Battalion a deep desire to resist. Assault after assault was repulsed as the battalion responded to the extraordinary leadership and personal example exhibited by Sfc. Littrell as he continuously moved to those points most seriously threatened by the enemy, redistributed ammunition, strengthened faltering defenses, cared for the wounded and shouted encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. When the beleaguered battalion was finally ordered to withdraw, numerous ambushes were encountered. Sfc. Littrell repeatedly prevented widespread disorder by directing air strikes to within 50 meters of their position. Through his indomitable courage and complete disregard for his safety, he averted excessive loss of life and injury to the members of the battalion. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Sfc. Littrell over an extended period of time were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the U.S. Army.

*MICHAEL, DON LESLIE

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 4th Battalion, 503d Infantry, 1 73d Airborne Brigade. place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 8 April 1967. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 31 July 1947, Florence, Ala. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Michael, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving with Company C. Sp4c. Michael was part of a platoon which was moving through an area of suspected enemy activity. While the rest of the platoon stopped to provide security, the squad to which Sp4c. Michael was assigned moved forward to investigate signs of recent enemy activity. After moving approximately 125 meters, the squad encountered a single Viet Cong soldier. When he was fired upon by the squad’s machine gunner, other Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons from a well-concealed bunker to the squad’s right front. The volume of enemy fire was so withering as to pin down the entire squad and halt all forward movement. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sp4c. Michael exposed himself to throw 2 grenades, but failed to eliminate the enemy position. From his position on the left flank, Sp4c. Michael maneuvered forward with 2 more grenades until he was within 20 meters of the enemy bunkers, when he again exposed himself to throw 2 grenades, which failed to detonate. Undaunted, Sp4c. Michael made his way back to the friendly positions to obtain more grenades. With 2 grenades in hand, he again started his perilous move towards the enemy bunker, which by this time was under intense artillery fire from friendly positions. As he neared the bunker, an enemy soldier attacked him from a concealed position. Sp4c. Michael killed him with his rifle and, in spite of the enemy fire and the exploding artillery rounds, was successful in destroying the enemy positions. Sp4c. Michael took up pursuit of the remnants of the retreating enemy. When his comrades reached Sp4c. Michael, he had been mortally wounded. His inspiring display of determination and courage saved the lives of many of his comrades and successfully eliminated a destructive enemy force. Sp4c. Michael’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 7 April

There are six Medals awarded for actions on this date. For a change, the Civil War doesn’t dominate the numbers, World War II does. There is one posthumous award.

Civil War. The pressure is maintained as the end game plays out. Sergeant Major Tobie wants to be there at the end.

GALLOWAY, JOHN

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Farmville, Va., 7 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 30 October 1897. Citation: His regiment being surprised and nearly overwhelmed, he dashed forward under a heavy fire, reached the right of the regiment, where the danger was greatest, rallied the men and prevented a disaster that was imminent.

LUDGATE, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Captain, Company G, 59th New York Veteran Infantry. Place and date: At Farmville, Va., 7 April 1865. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. Date of issue: 10 August 1889. Citation: Gallantry and promptness in rallying his men and advancing with a small detachment to save a bridge about to be fired by the enemy.

World War II. Germany, Italy, the Pacific. Technical Sergeant Okutsu is one of the Asian-Americans who received their awards in 2000, as a result of a review of discrimination in the Army’s handling awards during World War II.

COLALILLO, MIKE

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 398th Infantry, 100th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Untergriesheim, Germany, 7 April 1945. Entered service at. Duluth, Minn. Birth: Hibbing, Minn. G.O. No.: 4, 9 January 1946. Citation: He was pinned down with other members of his company during an attack against strong enemy positions in the vicinity of Untergriesheim, Germany. Heavy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire made any move hazardous when he stood up, shouted to the company to follow, and ran forward in the wake of a supporting tank, firing his machine pistol. Inspired by his example, his comrades advanced in the face of savage enemy fire. When his weapon was struck by shrapnel and rendered useless, he climbed to the deck of a friendly tank, manned an exposed machinegun on the turret of the vehicle, and, while bullets rattled about him, fired at an enemy emplacement with such devastating accuracy that he killed or wounded at least 10 hostile soldiers and destroyed their machinegun. Maintaining his extremely dangerous post as the tank forged ahead, he blasted 3 more positions, destroyed another machinegun emplacement and silenced all resistance in his area, killing at least 3 and wounding an undetermined number of riflemen as they fled. His machinegun eventually jammed; so he secured a submachinegun from the tank crew to continue his attack on foot. When our armored forces exhausted their ammunition and the order to withdraw was given, he remained behind to help a seriously wounded comrade over several hundred yards of open terrain rocked by an intense enemy artillery and mortar barrage. By his intrepidity and inspiring courage Pfc. Colallilo gave tremendous impetus to his company’s attack, killed or wounded 25 of the enemy in bitter fighting, and assisted a wounded soldier in reaching the American lines at great risk of his own life.

*JAMES, WILLY F., Jr.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 7 April 1945 near Lippoldsberg, Germany. As lead scout during a maneuver to secure and expand a vital bridgehead, Private First Class James was the first to draw enemy fire. He was pinned down for over an hour, during which time he observed enemy positions in detail. Returning to his platoon, he assisted in working out a new plan of maneuver. He then led a squad in the assault, accurately designating targets as he advanced, until he was killed by enemy machine gun fire while going to the aid of his fatally wounded platoon leader. Private First Class James’ fearless, self-assigned actions, coupled with his diligent devotion to duty exemplified the finest traditions of the Armed Forces.

OKUTSU, YUKIO

Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 7 April 1945, on Mount Belvedere, Italy. While his platoon was halted by the crossfire of three machine guns, Technical Sergeant Okutsu boldly crawled to within 30 yards of the nearest enemy emplacement through heavy fire. He destroyed the position with two accurately placed hand grenades, killing three machine gunners. Crawling and dashing from cover to cover, he threw another grenade, silencing a second machine gun, wounding two enemy soldiers, and forcing two others to surrender. Seeing a third machine gun, which obstructed his platoon’s advance, he moved forward through heavy small arms fire and was stunned momentarily by rifle fire, which glanced off his helmet. Recovering, he bravely charged several enemy riflemen with his submachine gun, forcing them to withdraw from their positions. Then, rushing the machine gun nest, he captured the weapon and its entire crew of four. By these single-handed actions he enabled his platoon to resume its assault on a vital objective. The courageous performance of Technical Sergeant Okutsu against formidable odds was an inspiration to all. Technical Sergeant Okutsu’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

SWETT, JAMES ELMS

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighter Squadron 221, with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Place and date: Solomon Islands area, 7 April 1943. Entered service at: California. Born: 15 June 1920, Seattle, Wash. Other Navy award: Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Gold Star. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and personal valor above and beyond the call of duty, as division leader of Marine Fighting Squadron 221 with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, in action against enemy Japanese aerial forces in the Solomons Islands area, 7 April 1943. In a daring flight to intercept a wave of 150 Japanese planes, 1st Lt. Swett unhesitatingly hurled his 4-plane division into action against a formation of 15 enemy bombers and personally exploded 3 hostile planes in midair with accurate and deadly fire during his dive. Although separated from his division while clearing the heavy concentration of antiaircraft fire, he boldly attacked 6 enemy bombers, engaged the first 4 in turn and, unaided, shot down all in flames. Exhausting his ammunition as he closed the fifth Japanese bomber, he relentlessly drove his attack against terrific opposition which partially disabled his engine, shattered the windscreen and slashed his face. In spite of this, he brought his battered plane down with skillful precision in the water off Tulagi without further injury. The superb airmanship and tenacious fighting spirit which enabled 1st Lt. Swett to destroy 7 enemy bombers in a single flight were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 6 April

There are sixty-nine Medals awarded for actions on this day, sixty-four of them during the Civil War, including one rare posthumous award. The others are three are from World War II, and two from the Endless War on Terrorism, in Afghanistan. Two of them are posthumous.

Civil War. Prior to the Civil War, with the brief exception of Washington establishing the Purple Heart as an award for merit during the Revolution, the US military didn’t have a system of medals. The Medal of Honor was established during the early days of the Civil War. The raft of Medals here, mostly from one battle, Sailor’s (aka Saylor’s) Creek, 6 April 1865, with a few others interspersed there from the battle of Shiloh, fought in 1862, shows how the Medal went from virtually unknown in the early days (Shiloh, aka Pittsburg Landing, the first really big fight in the western theater) to rather popular during the waning days of the war. Most of the Medals herein are for flag captures, and the flags read like the Order of Battle for the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV). Many of these Medals went to small groups of men for the capture of the same flag – nonetheless, the capture of this many flags on one day indicates both the level of attrition the ANV had suffered (regiments were little more than companies, but retained their regimental names and colors) and how the will to fight was waning, as the southern soldiers realized they were only growing steadily weaker while the Union army was throwing well-equipped and fresh troops into every fight. The Army of Northern Virginia lost 7700 troops, including 8 Generals on that long hard day.

On a related note, like the Auld Soldier did to a chinese soldier during the Korean War, Private Eddy schooled his enemy on the dangers of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

BENJAMIN, JOHN F.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company M, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Orange County, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 9th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

BENNETT, ORREN

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 141st Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Towanda, Pa. Birth: Bradford County, Pa. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BOON, HUGH P.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company B, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Born: 28 July 1831, Washington, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BREST, LEWIS F.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 57th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Mercer, Pa. Date of Issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BRINGLE, ANDREW

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 10th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Buffalo, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Charged the enemy and assisted Sgt. Norton in capturing a fieldpiece and 2 prisoners.

CALKIN, IVERS S.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company M., 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Willsborough, N.Y. Birth: Essex County, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 18th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

CHAPMAN, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: St. John, New Brunswick. Birth: St. John, New Brunswick. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

CLAPP, ALBERT A.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company G, 2d Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Pompey, N.Y. Date of issue: 24 April 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of the 8th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).

CONNELL, TRUSTRIM

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 138th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at. Fort Kennedy, Pa. Birth: Lancaster, Pa. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

CUNNINGHAM, FRANCIS M.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company H, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Springfield, Pa. Birth: Somerset County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 12th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.) in hand-to-hand battle while wounded.

DAVIS, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 2d New York Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: New York. Birth: Wales. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

DOCKUM, WARREN C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 121st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Clintonville, N Y. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of Savannah Guards (C.S.A.), after 2 other men had been killed in the effort.

EDDY, SAMUEL E.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Chesterfield, Mass. Birth: Vermont. Date of issue: 10 September 1897. Citation: Saved the life of the adjutant of his regiment by voluntarily going beyond the line and there killing one of the enemy then in the act of firing upon the wounded officer. Was assailed by several of the enemy, run through the body with a bayonet, and pinned to the ground, but while so-situated he shot and killed his assailant.

EVANS, CORON D.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 3d Indiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Jefferson County, Ind. Birth: Jefferson County, Ind. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 26th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

FORD, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company E, 88th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

GIFFORD, BENJAMIN

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 121st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: German Flats, N.Y. Birth: German Flats, N.Y. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

GRIBBEN, JAMES H.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company C, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 12th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

HAGERTY, ASEL

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 61st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Canada, Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

HAWTHORNE, HARRIS S.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 121st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Otsego, N.Y. Born: 1832, Salem, N.Y. Date of issue: 29 December 1894. Citation: Captured the Confederate Gen. G. W. Custis Lee.

HAYNES, ASBURY F.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 17th Maine Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Maine. Birth: Edinburgh, Maine. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

HOFFMAN, HENRY

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company M, 2d Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

HOLMES, WILLIAM T.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 3d Indiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Indianapolis, Ind. Birth: Vermilion County, Ill. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 27th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

HOULTON, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Clymer, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

HUGHEY, JOHN

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company L, 2d Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Highland, Ohio. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 38th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

JORDAN, ABSALOM

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 3d Indiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: North Madison, Ind. Birth: Brown County, Ohio. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

KENYON, SAMUEL P.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 24th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creeks, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Oriskany Falls, N.Y. Birth: Ira, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag.

KEOUGH, JOHN

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 67th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Albany, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 50th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

KIMBALL, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Ironton, Ohio. Birth: Littleton, N.H. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 6th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.).

KLINE, HARRY

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 40th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Syracuse, N.Y. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag.

LANE, MORGAN D.

Rank and organization: Private, Signal Corps, U.S. Army. Place and date: Near Jetersville, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Allegany Mich. Birth: Monroe, N.Y. Date of issue: 16 March 1866. Citation Capture of flag of gunboat Nansemond.

LANFARE, AARON S.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company B, 1st Connecticut Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Branford, Conn. Birth: Branford, Conn. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 11th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).

LARIMER, SMITH

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 2d Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Columbus, Ohio. Birth: Richland County, Ohio. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of General Kershaw’s headquarters.

MATTOCKS, CHARLES P.

Rank and organization: Major, 17th Maine Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Portland, Maine. Born: 1840, Danville, Vt. Date of issue: 29 March 1899. Citation: Displayed extraordinary gallantry in leading a charge of his regiment which resulted in the capture of a large number of prisoners and a stand of colors.

McDONALD, JOHN WADE

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 20th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., 6 April 1862. Entered service at: Wayneville, DeWitt County, Ill. Birth: Lancaster, Ohio. Date of issue: 27 August 1900. Citation: Was severely wounded while endeavoring, at the risk of his life, to carry to a place of safety a wounded and helpless comrade.

McELHlNNY, SAMUEL O.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Point Pleasant, W. Va. Birth. Meigs County, Ohio. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

McWHORTER, WALTER F.

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, Company E, 3d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Harrison County, W. Va. Birth: Lewis County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 6th Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.).

MENTER, JOHN W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company D, 5th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Palmer, N.Y. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

MILLER, FRANK

Rank and organization: Private, Company M, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Jamaica, N.Y. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 24 April 1865. citation: Capture of flag of 25th Battalion Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.); was taken prisoner, but successfully retained his trophy until recaptured.

MORRIS, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation. Capture of flag of 40th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

MUNDELL, WALTER L.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Dallas, Mich. Born: 1839, Michigan. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

NEVILLE, EDWIN M.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 1st Connecticut Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Waterbury, Conn. Birth:——. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

NEWMAN, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company B, 86th New York Infantry. Place and date: Near Amelia Springs, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Orange County, N.Y. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

NORTON, ELLIOTT M.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company H, 6th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Cooper, Mich. Birth: Connecticut. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Rushed ahead of his column and captured the flag of the 44th Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.).

NORTON, JOHN R.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company M, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ontario County, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

NORTON, LLEWELLYN P.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company L, 10th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Cortland County, N.Y. Birth: Scott, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Charged the enemy and, with the assistance of Corporal Bringle, captured a fieldpiece with 2 prisoners.

PARKER, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 2d Rhode Island Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865, at Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Providence, R.I. Birth. England. Date of issue: 29 May 1867. Citation. Planted the first color on the enemy’s works. Carried the regimental colors over the creek after the regiment had broken and been repulsed.

PAYNE, IRVIN C.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company M, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Wayne County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of Virginia State colors.

PITMAN, GEORGE J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Recklestown N.J. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of the Sumter Heavy Artillery (C.S.A.).

PORTER, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Among the first to check the enemy’s countercharge.

RICHARDSON, WILLIAM R.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 2d Ohio Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Washington, Ohio. Birth: Cleveland, Ohio. Date of issue: 7 April 1866. Citation: Having been captured and taken to the rear, made his escape rejoined the Union lines, and furnished information of great importance as to the enemy’s position and the approaches thereto.

RIDDELL, RUDOLPH

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company I, 61st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Hamilton, N.Y. Birth: Hamilton, N.Y. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Captured the flag of the 6th Alabama Cavalry (C.S.A.).

*SAVACOOL, EDWIN F.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company K, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Marshall, Mich. Born: 1835, Jackson, Mich. Date of issue: 24 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag, during which he was wounded and died several days later in Washington, D.C.

SHAHAN, EMISIRE

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Preston County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 76th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

SHEPHERD, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 3d Indiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Dillsboro, Ind. Birth: Dearborn County, Ind. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

SIMMONS, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 2d New York Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Liberty, N.Y. Birth: Bethel, N.Y. Date of issue: 24 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

SMITH, DAVID L.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Battery E, 1st New York Light Artillery. Place and date. At Warwick Courthouse, Va., 6 April 1862. Entered service at: Bath, N.Y. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 6 August 1906. Citation: This soldier, when a shell struck an ammunition chest exploding a number of cartridges and setting fire to the packing tow, procured water and extinguished the fire, thus preventing the explosion of the remaining ammunition.

SOUTHARD, DAVID

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date. At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ocean County, N.J. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Capture of flag; and was the first man over the works in the charge.

SPALDING, EDWARD B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 52d Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., 6 April 1862. Entered service at: Rockford, Winnebago County, Ill. Birth: Ogle County, Ill. Date of issue: 15 January 1894. Citation: Although twice wounded, and thereby crippled for life, he remained fighting in open ground to the close of the battle.

TAGGART, CHARLES A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 37th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Blandford, Mass. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

TITUS, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: New Brunswick, N.J. Birth: Millstone, N.J. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Was among the first to check the enemy’s countercharge.

TOBIE, EDWARD P.

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 1st Maine Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Campaign, Va., 29 March to 9 April 1865. Entered service at: Lewiston, Maine. Birth: Lewiston, Maine. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: Though severely wounded at Sailors Creek, 6 April, and at Farmville, 7 April, refused to go to the hospital, but remained with his regiment, performed the full duties of adjutant upon the wounding of that officer, and was present for duty at Appomattox.

WILLIAMS, ELWOOD N.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 28th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Shiloh, Tenn., 6 April 1862. Entered service at: Havanna, Ill. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 28 September 1897. Citation: A box of ammunition having been abandoned between the lines, this soldier voluntarily went forward with one companion, under a heavy fire from both armies, secured the box, and delivered it within the line of his regiment, his companion being mortally wounded.

WILSON, CHARLES E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Bucks County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 July 1865. Citation: Charged the enemy’s works, colors in hand, and had 2 horses shot from under him.

WOODALL, WILLIAM H

Rank and organization: Scout, Major General Philip H Sheridan’s Cavalry Corps Headquarters. Place and Date: Sailor’s Creek, 6 April 1865. Citation: Captured flag of Brigadier General Rufus Barringer’s headquarters brigade.

WOODS, DANIEL A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 1st Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ohio County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 18th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).

World War II

BAKER, VERNON

Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company’s attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked and enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy’s fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker’s fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

*BEAUDOIN, RAYMOND O.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company F, 119th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Hamelin, Germany, 6 April 1945. Entered service at: Holyoke, Mass. Birth: Holyoke, Mass. G.O. No.: 9, 25 January 1946. Citation: He was leading the 2d Platoon of Company F over flat, open terrain to Hamelin, Germany, when the enemy went into action with machineguns and automatic weapons, laying down a devastating curtain of fire which pinned his unit to the ground. By rotating men in firing positions he made it possible for his entire platoon to dig in, defying all the while the murderous enemy fire to encourage his men and to distribute ammunition. He then dug in himself at the most advanced position, where he kept up a steady fire, killing 6 hostile soldiers, and directing his men in inflicting heavy casualties on the numerically superior opposing force. Despite these defensive measures, however, the position of the platoon became more precarious, for the enemy had brought up strong reinforcements and was preparing a counterattack. Three men, sent back at intervals to obtain ammunition and reinforcements, were killed by sniper fire. To relieve his command from the desperate situation, 1st Lt. Beaudoin decided to make a l-man attack on the most damaging enemy sniper nest 90 yards to the right flank, and thereby divert attention from the runner who would attempt to pierce the enemy’s barrier of bullets and secure help. Crawling over completely exposed ground, he relentlessly advanced, undeterred by 8 rounds of bazooka fire which threw mud and stones over him or by rifle fire which ripped his uniform. Ten yards from the enemy position he stood up and charged. At point-blank range he shot and killed 2 occupants of the nest; a third, who tried to bayonet him, he overpowered and killed with the butt of his carbine; and the fourth adversary was cut down by the platoon’s rifle fire as he attempted to flee. He continued his attack by running toward a dugout, but there he was struck and killed by a burst from a machinegun. By his intrepidity, great fighting skill, and supreme devotion to his responsibility for the well-being of his platoon, 1st Lt. Beaudoin single-handedly accomplished a mission that enabled a messenger to secure help which saved the stricken unit and made possible the decisive defeat of the German forces.

*ROBINSON, JAMES E., JR.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Battery A, 861st Field Artillery Battalion, 63d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Untergriesheim, Germany, 6 April 1945. Entered service at: Waco, Tex. Birth: Toledo, Ohio. G.O. No.: 117, 11 December 1945. Citation: He was a field artillery forward observer attached to Company A, 253d Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany, on 6 April 1945. Eight hours of desperate fighting over open terrain swept by German machinegun, mortar, and small-arms fire had decimated Company A, robbing it of its commanding officer and most of its key enlisted personnel when 1st Lt. Robinson rallied the 23 remaining uninjured riflemen and a few walking wounded, and, while carrying his heavy radio for communication with American batteries, led them through intense fire in a charge against the objective. Ten German infantrymen in foxholes threatened to stop the assault, but the gallant leader killed them all at point-blank range with rifle and pistol fire and then pressed on with his men to sweep the area of all resistance. Soon afterward he was ordered to seize the defended town of Kressbach. He went to each of the 19 exhausted survivors with cheering words, instilling in them courage and fortitude, before leading the little band forward once more. In the advance he was seriously wounded in the throat by a shell fragment, but, despite great pain and loss of blood, he refused medical attention and continued the attack, directing supporting artillery fire even though he was mortally wounded. Only after the town had been taken and he could no longer speak did he leave the command he had inspired in victory and walk nearly 2 miles to an aid station where he died from his wound. By his intrepid leadership 1st Lt. Robinson was directly responsible for Company A’s accomplishing its mission against tremendous odds.

War on Terror – Afghanistan

SHURER III, RONALD J

Rank and Organization: Staff Sergeant, US Army, ODA 3336, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Operations Task Force 33, CJSOTF – Afghanistan. Place and date: Shok Valley, Nuristan Province, Afghanista, April 6, 2008. Citation: Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Shurer II distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on April 6, 2008, while serving as a Senior Medical Sergeant, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Staff Sergeant Shurer was part of an assault element inserted by helicopter into a location in Afghanistan. As the assault element moved up a near vertical mountain toward its objective, it was engaged by fierce enemy machine gun, sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The lead portion of the assault element, which included the ground commander, sustained several casualties and became pinned down on the mountainside. Staff Sergeant Shurer and the rest of the trailing portion of the assault element were likewise engaged by enemy machine gun, sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade fire. As the attack intensified, Staff Sergeant Shurer braved enemy fire to move to an injured Soldier and treat his wounds. Having stabilized the injured Soldier, Staff Sergeant Shurer then learned of the casualties among the lead element. Staff Sergeant Shurer fought his way up the mountainside, under intense enemy fire, to the lead element’s location. Upon reaching the lead element, he treated and stabilized two more Soldiers. Finishing those lifesaving efforts, Staff Sergeant Shurer noticed two additional severely wounded Soldiers under intense enemy fire. The bullet that had wounded one of these Soldiers had also impacted Staff Sergeant Shurer’s helmet. With complete disregard for his own life, Staff Sergeant Shurer again moved through enemy fire to treat and stabilize one Soldier’s severely wounded arm. Shortly thereafter, Staff Sergeant Shurer continued to brave withering enemy fire to get to the other Soldier’s location in order to treat his lower leg, which had been almost completely severed by a high-caliber sniper round. After treating the Soldier, Staff Sergeant Shurer began to evacuate the wounded; carrying and lowering them down the sheer mountainside. While moving down the mountain, Staff Sergeant Shurer used his own body to shield the wounded from enemy fire and debris caused by danger-close air strikes. Reaching the base of the mountain, Staff Sergeant Shurer set up a casualty collection point and continued to treat the wounded. With the arrival of the medical evacuation helicopter, Staff Sergeant Shurer, again under enemy fire, helped load the wounded into the helicopter. Having ensured the safety of the wounded, Staff Sergeant Shurer then regained control of his commando squad and rejoined the fight. He continued to lead his troops and emplace security elements until it was time to move to the evacuation landing zone for the helicopter. Staff Sergeant Shurer’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

WILLIAMS, MATTHEW O

Rank and Organization: Sergeant Major (then Sergeant), US Army, ODA 3336, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Operations Task Force 33, CJSOTF – Afghanistan. Place and date: Shok Valley, Nuristan Province, Afghanista, April 6, 2008. Citation: Sergeant Matthew O. Williams distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on April 6, 2008, while serving as a Weapons Sergeant, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Sergeant Williams was part of an assault element inserted by helicopter into a location in Afghanistan. As the assault element was moving up a mountain toward its objective, it was engaged by intense enemy machine gun, sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The lead portion of the assault element, which included the ground commander, sustained several casualties and became pinned down on the sheer mountainside. Sergeant Williams, upon hearing that the lead element had sustained casualties and was in danger of being overrun, braved intense enemy fire to lead a counter-attack across a valley of ice-covered boulders and a fast-moving, ice cold, and waist-deep river. Under withering fire, Sergeant Williams and his local national commandos fought up the terraced mountainside to the besieged element. Arriving at the lead element’s position, Sergeant Williams arrayed his Afghan commandos to provide suppressive fire, which kept the insurgent fighters from overrunning the position. When the Team Sergeant was wounded, Sergeant Williams braved enemy fire once again to provide buddy-aid and to move the Team Sergeant down the sheer mountainside to the casualty collection point. Sergeant Williams then fought and climbed his way back up the mountainside to help defend the lead assault element that still had several serious casualties in need of evacuation. Sergeant Williams directed suppressive fire and exposed himself to enemy fire in order to reestablish the team’s critical satellite radio communications. He then assisted with moving the wounded down the near-vertical mountainside to the casualty collection point. Noting that the collection point was about to be overrun by enemy fighters, Sergeant Williams led the Afghan commandos in a counter-attack that lasted for several hours. When helicopters arrived to evacuate the wounded, Sergeant Williams again exposed himself to enemy fire, carrying and loading casualties onto the helicopters while continuing to direct commando firepower to suppress numerous insurgent positions. His actions enabled the patrol to evacuate wounded and dead comrades without further casualties. Sergeant Williams’ complete disregard for his own safety and his concern for the safety of his teammates ensured the survival of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the lead element of the assault force from being overrun by the enemy. Sergeant Williams’ actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 4 April

There are five Medals awarded for actions on this day.  Two during the Civil War, two during the Philippine Insurrection and one during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Civil War

BREWER, WILLIAM J.

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 2d New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox campaign, Va., 4 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Putnam County, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of engineer flag, Army of Northern Virginia.

RILEY, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 1st Louisiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Fort Blakely, Ala., 4 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 8 June 1865. Citation: Captured the flag of the 6th Alabama Cavalry.

Philippine Insurrection

BUCKLEY, HOWARD MAJOR

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 23 January 1868, Croton Falls, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. 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 on 25, 27, 29 March, and 4 April 1899.

LEONARD, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. (Enlisted as Joseph Melvin). Born: 28 August 1876, Cohoes, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battles, while with the Eighth Army Corps on 25, 27, and 29 March, and on 4 April 1899.

Vietnam.  A warrior surfaces. This is one of the 2014 awards reviewed for possibly having been downgraded due to racial prejudice.

CONDE-FALCON, FELIX M.

Conde-Falcon distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions, April 4, 1969, while serving as platoon leader during a sweep operation in the vicinity of Ap Tan Hoa, Vietnam. Entering a heavily wooded section on the route of advance, the company encountered an extensive enemy bunker complex, later identified as a battalion command post. Following tactical artillery and air strikes on the heavily secured communist position, the platoon of Conde-Falcon was selected to assault and clear the bunker fortifications. Moving out ahead of his platoon, he charged the first bunker, heaving grenades as he went. As the hostile fire increased, he crawled to the blind side of an entrenchment position, jumped to the roof, and tossed a lethal grenade into the bunker aperture. Without hesitating, he proceeded to two additional bunkers, both of which he destroyed in the same manner as the first. Rejoined with his platoon, he advanced about one hundred meters through the trees, only to come under intense hostile fire. Selecting three men to accompany him, he maneuvered toward the enemy’s flank position. Carrying a machine-gun, he single-handedly assaulted the nearest fortification, killing the enemy inside before running out of ammunition. After returning to the three men with his empty weapon and taking up an M-16 rifle, he concentrated on the next bunker. Within ten meters of his goal, he was shot by an unseen assailant and soon died of his wounds. His great courage, his ability to act appropriately and decisively in accomplishing his mission, his dedication to the welfare of his men mark him as an outstanding leader Conde-Falcon’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Operation Iraq Freedom.  The first Medal of the 21st Century.  Sergeant First Class Paul Smith, a hard man who died hard, as any soldier should.

*SMITH, PAUL R.

Rank and Organization: Sergeant First Class, United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 3 April

After the frenzy of Medal-earning of the past few days, we take a breather. There are four Medals awarded for actions on this day, all during the Civil War.

Civil War.  The Union armies continue their inexorable march towards Appomattox Courthouse.

BLICKENSDERFER, MILTON

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 126th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 3 April 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Lancaster, Pa. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BRANT, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company B, 1st New Jersey Veteran Battalion. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 3 April 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Elizabeth, N.J. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 46th North Carolina (C.S.A.).

BRIGGS, ELIJAH A.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 2d Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 3 April 1865. Entered service at: Salisbury, Conn. Birth: Salisbury, Conn. Date of issue: 10 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag.

POWERS, WESLEY J.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 147th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Oostanaula, Ga., 3 April 1865. Entered service at: Virgil, Ill. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 24 October 1895. Citation: Voluntarily swam the river under heavy fire and secured a ferryboat, by means of which the command crossed.