Cinco de Mayo

…an alternate view (I’m having Argghhharitas, mind.  No tacos today though).

“Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican Army defeating the French in 1862. On that same day, Union and Confederate forces clashed near Williamsburg, Virginia. Nearly four thousand American men were killed/injured/captured/missing, but their sacrifices can’t compete with guacamole and tequila! PARTY!”|

More here at PJ media, Day Drinking with KDJ: MAGA-Rita Edition  (includes MAGArita recipe).

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 5 May

There are twenty-three Medals awarded for actions on this day, all during the 19th century, for actions during the Civil War and in the Indian Campaigns. None are posthumous.

Civil War.  There are eighteen Medals, covering the fights at Wiliamsburg, VA in 1862, the ordeal of USS Signal on the Red River and the fighting in the Wilderness in 1864, and one from the closeout of the Chancellorsville fighting in 1863.

ASTEN, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Quarter Gunner, U.S. Navy. Born: 1834, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the Federal ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Although on the sick list, Q.G. Asten courageously carried out his duties during the entire engagement.

BUCKLES, ABRAM J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 19th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: Muncie, Ind. Birth: Delaware County, Ind. Date of issue: 4 December 1893. Citation: Though suffering from an open wound, carried the regimental colors until again wounded.

BUTTS, GEORGE

Rank and organization: Gunner’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: Rome, N.Y. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Although entered on the sick list, Butts courageously carried out his duties during the entire engagement.

CONBOY, MARTIN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 37th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Williamsburg, Va., 5 May 1862. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 11 October 1892. Citation: Took command of the company in action, the captain having been wounded, the other commissioned officers being absent, and handled it with skill and bravery.

COYNE, JOHN N.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 70th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Williamsburg, Va., 5 May 1862. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 14 November 1839, New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 18 April 1888. Citation: Capture of a flag after a severe hand-to-hand contest; was mentioned in orders for his gallantry.

EVANS, JAMES R.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 62d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 25 February 1895. Citation: Went out in front of the line under a fierce fire and, in the face of the rapidly advancing enemy, rescued the regimental flag with which the color bearer had fallen.

GRACE, PETER

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 83d Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: Berkshire, Mass. Birth: Berkshire, Mass. Date of issue: 27 December 1894. Citation: Singlehanded, rescued a comrade from 2 Confederate guards, knocking down one and compelling surrender of the other.

HYLAND, JOHN

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1819, Ireland. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served as seaman on board the U.S.S. Signal which was attacked by field batteries and sharpshooters and destroyed in Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Although wounded, Hyland courageously went in full view of several hundred sharpshooters and let go the anchor, and again to slip the cable, when he was again wounded by the raking enemy fire.

McCORMlCK, MICHAEL

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1833, Ireland. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning the fire until the ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Serving as gun captain and wounded early in the battle, McCormick bravely stood by his gun in the face of the enemy fire until ordered to withdraw.

MINDIL, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company I, 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Williamsburg, Va., 5 May 1862. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 25 October 1893. Citation: As aide_de_camp led the charge with a part of a regiment, pierced the enemy’s center, silenced some of his artillery, and, getting in his rear, caused him to abandon his position.

MORSE, CHARLES E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 62d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: New York. Birth: France. Date of issue: 14 January 1890. Citation: Voluntarily rushed back into the enemy’s lines, took the colors from the color sergeant, who was mortally wounded, and, although himself wounded, carried them through the fight.

MULHOLLAND, ST. CLAIR A.

Rank and organization: Major, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 4-5 May 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 1 April 1839, Ireland. Date of issue: 26 March 1895. Citation: In command of the picket line held the enemy in check all night to cover the retreat of the Army.

O’DONOGHUE, TIMOTHY

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy, Born: 1841, Rochester N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served as boatswain’s mate on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning the fire until the ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Serving as gun captain, and wounded early in the battle, O’Donoghue bravely stood by his gun in the face of enemy fire until ordered to withdraw.

OPEL, JOHN N.

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 7th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: Decatur County, Ind. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 50th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

PATTERSON, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 11th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 23 July 1897. Citation: Under the heavy fire of the advancing enemy, picked up and carried several hundred yards to a place of safety a wounded officer of his regiment who was helpless and would otherwise have been burned in the forest.

RICH, CARLOS H.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company K, 4th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: Northfield, Mass. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 4 January 1895. Citation: Saved the life of an officer.

SWAP, JACOB E.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 83d Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Wilderness, Va., 5 May 1864. Entered service at: Springs, Pa. Birth: Calnehoose, N.Y. Date of issue: 19 November 1897. Citation: Although assigned to other duty, he voluntarily joined his regiment in a charge and fought with it until severely wounded.

WILKES, PERRY

Rank and organization: Pilot, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: Indiana. Born: 6 June 1830, Indiana. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served as pilot on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was ordered raised. Acting as pilot throughout the battle, Wilkes stood by his wheel until it was disabled in his hands by a bursting enemy shell.

Indian Campaigns.  As is not unusal for this period, all the Medals are for the same fight with very terse citations.

FICHTER, HERMANN

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 5 May 1871. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 13 November 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action.

KILMARTIN, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 5 May 1871. Entered service at:——. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 13 November 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MILLER, DANIEL H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 5 May 1871. Entered service at:——. Birth: Fairfield County, Ohio. Date of issue: 13 November 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MOTT, JOHN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company F, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 5 May 1871. Entered service at:——. Birth: Scotland. Date of issue: 13 November 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action.

YOUNT, JOHN P.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 5 May 1871. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Putnam County, Ind. Date of issue: 13 November 1871. Citation: Gallantry in action with Indians.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 4 May

There are ten Medals awarded for actions on this day, three of them posthumous.  Unusually, one of the posthumous awards is to a Civil War soldier.

Civil War.  In the case of Corporal McVeane, his posthumous award is either because he died in subsequent combat (or the myriad diseases) or other causes before his award was made in 1870.  Dead men receive no surrenders, unless perhaps they are El Cid, and strapped to their horse.  Upon further digging, it would appear McVeane was a colourful [sic] soldier.  I use the brit spelling because he was a Canadian serving in the 49th NY Infantry.  Mustered in as a Sergeant, busted to the ranks, promoted Corporal, got his Sergeant’s stripes back after his Medal action, and subsequently commissioned a Second Lieutenant.  He died in the fighting in The Wilderness campaign in 1864.

BROWN, EDWARD, JR.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 62d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg and Salem Heights, Va., 3-4 May 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 6 July 1841, Ireland. Date of issue: 24 November 1880. Citation: Severely wounded while carrying the colors, he continued at his post, under fire, until ordered to the rear.

BROWN, JAMES

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1826 Rochester, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Albatross during action against Fort De Russy in the Red River Area on 4 May 1863. After the steering wheel and wheel ropes had been shot away by rebel fire, Brown stood on the gun platform of the quarterdeck, exposing himself to a close fire of musketry from the shore, and rendered invaluable assistance by his expert management of the relieving tackles in extricating the vessel from a perilous position, and thereby aided in the capture of Fort De Russy’s heavyworks.

BUTTERFIELD, FRANK G.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company C, 6th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: Rockingham, Vt. Birth: Rockingham, Vt. Date of issue: 4 May 1891. Citation: Took command of the skirmish line and covered the movement of his regiment out of a precarious position.

CLARK, CHARLES A.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant and Adjutant, 6th Maine Infantry. Place and date: At Brooks Ford, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Sangerville, Maine. Date of issue: 13 May 1896. Citation: Having voluntarily taken command of his regiment in the absence of its commander, at great personal risk and with remarkable presence of mind and fertility of resource led the command down an exceedingly precipitous embankment to the Rappahannock River and by his gallantry, coolness, and good judgment in the face of the enemy saved the command from capture or destruction.

COFFEY, ROBERT J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 4th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Banks Ford, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: Montpelier, Vt. Birth: Nova Scotia. Date of issue: 13 May 1892. Citation: Single-handedly captured 2 officers and 5 privates of the 8th Louisiana Regiment (C.S.A.).

CUMMINGS, AMOS J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 26th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: Irvington, N.J. Born: 15 May 1841, Conklin, N.Y. Date of issue. 28 March 1894. Citation: Rendered great assistance in the heat of the action in rescuing a part of the field batteries from an extremely dangerous and exposed position.

*McVEANE, JOHN P.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company D, 49th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg Heights, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 21 September 1870. Citation: Shot a Confederate color bearer and seized the flag; also approached, alone, a barn between the lines and demanded and received the surrender of a number of the enemy therein.

Philippine Insurrection

SHAW, GEORGE C.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 27th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Pitacus, Lake Lanao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, 4 May 1903. Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Birth: Pontiac, Mich. Date of issue: 9 June 1904. Citation: For distinguished gallantry in leading the assault and, under a heavy fire from the enemy, maintaining alone his position on the parapet after the first 3 men who followed him there had been killed or wounded, until a foothold was gained by others and the capture of the place assured.

World War II

*KINSER, ELBERT LUTHER

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 21 October 1922, Greeneville, Tenn. Accredited to: Tennessee. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while acting as leader of a Rifle Platoon, serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 4 May 1945. Taken under sudden, close attack by hostile troops entrenched on the reverse slope while moving up a strategic ridge along which his platoon was holding newly won positions, Sgt. Kinser engaged the enemy in a fierce hand grenade battle. Quick to act when a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sgt. Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he had yielded his own chance of survival that his comrades might live to carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His courage, cool decision and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Vietnam

*FOURNET, DOUGLAS B.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 4 May 1968. Entered service at: New Orleans, La. Born: 7 May 1943, Lake Charles, La. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Fournet, Infantry, distinguished himself in action while serving as rifle platoon leader of the 2d Platoon, Company B. While advancing uphill against fortified enemy positions in the A Shau Valley, the platoon encountered intense sniper fire, making movement very difficult. The right flank man suddenly discovered an enemy claymore mine covering the route of advance and shouted a warning to his comrades. Realizing that the enemy would also be alerted, 1st Lt. Fournet ordered his men to take cover and ran uphill toward the mine, drawing a sheath knife as he approached it. With complete disregard for his safety and realizing the imminent danger to members of his command, he used his body as a shield in front of the mine as he attempted to slash the control wires leading from the enemy positions to the mine. As he reached for the wire the mine was detonated, killing him instantly. Five men nearest the mine were slightly wounded, but 1st Lt. Fournet’s heroic and unselfish act spared his men of serious injury or death. His gallantry and willing self-sacrifice are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 3 May

Busy day during the Civil War.  There are 32 Medals awarded for actions on this day, 31 during the Civil War and one during the Indian Campaigns.  As is usual for the 19th century awards, none are posthumous.

Civil War.  Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and the early stages of the Vicksburg Campaign dominate today.

BALLEN, FREDERICK

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 1842, Germany. Date of issue: 6 November 1908. Citation: Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.

BRADLEY, THOMAS W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 124th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Walden, N.Y. Born: 6 April 1844, England. Date of issue: 10 June 1896. Citation: Volunteered in response to a call and alone, in the face of a heavy fire of musketry and canister, went and procured ammunition for the use of his comrades.

BUCKLYN, JOHN K.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Rhode Island. Born: 15 March 1834, Foster Creek, R.I. Date of issue: 13 July 1899. Citation: Though himself wounded, gallantly fought his section of the battery under a fierce fire from the enemy until his ammunition was all expended, many of the cannoneers and most of the horses killed or wounded, and the enemy within 25 yards of the guns, when, disabling one piece, he brought off the other in safety.

CHASE, JOHN F.

Rank and organization: Private, 5th Battery, Maine Light Artillery. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Augusta, Maine. Birth: Chelsea, Maine. Date of issue: 7 February 1888. Citation: Nearly all the officers and men of the battery having been killed or wounded, this soldier with a comrade continued to fire his gun after the guns had ceased. The piece was then dragged off by the two, the horses having been shot, and its capture by the enemy was prevented.

DAVIDSON, ANDREW

Rank and organization: Assistant Surgeon, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Cincinnati, Ohio. Birth: Middlebury, Vt. Date of issue: 17 October 1892. Citation: Voluntarily attempted to run the enemy’s batteries.

FRICK, JACOB G.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 129th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., 13 December 1862. At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at. Pottsville, Pa. Born: 23 January 1838, Northumberland, Pa. Date of issue: 7 June 1892. Citation: At Fredericksburg seized the colors and led the command through a terrible fire of cannon and musketry. In a hand-to-hand fight at Chancellorsville, recaptured the colors of his regiment.

GILMORE, JOHN C.

Rank and organization: Major, 16th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Potsdam, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 10 October 1892. Citation: Seized the colors of his regiment and gallantly rallied his men under a very severe fire.

GOODMAN, WILLIAM E.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company D, 147th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 10 December 1838, Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 11 January 1894. Citation: Rescued the colors of the 107th Ohio Volunteers from the enemy.

GRANT, LEWIS A.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 5th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 3 May 1864. Entered service at: Bellow Falls, Vt. Born: 17 January 1828, Winhall, Vt. Date of issue: 11 May 1893. Citation: Personal gallantry and intrepidity displayed in the management of his brigade and in leading it in the assault in which he was wounded.

HACK, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Birth: 1843, Germany. Date of issue: 3 January 1907. Citation: Was one of a party which volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.

HALL, FRANCIS B.

Rank and organization: Chaplain, 16th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Plattsburgh, N.Y. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 16 February 1897. Citation: Voluntarily exposed himself to a heavy fire during the thickest of the fight and carried wounded men to the rear for treatment and attendance.

HARRINGTON, EPHRAIM W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 2d Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Kirby, Vt. Birth: Waterford, Maine. Date of issue: 13 December 1893. Citation: Carried the colors to the top of the heights and almost to the muzzle of the enemy’s guns.

HODGES, ADDISON J.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 1841, Hillsdale, Mich. Date of issue: 13 December 1907. Citation: Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.

HOLEHOUSE, JAMES (JOHN)

Rank and organization. Private, Company B, 7th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Marye’s Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Fall River, Mass. Birth. England. Date of issue: 10 September 1897. Citation: With one companion voluntarily and with conspicuous daring advanced beyond his regiment, which had been broken In the assault, and halted beneath the crest. Following the example of these 2 men, the colors were brought to the summit, the regiment was advanced and the position held.

LEWIS, HENRY

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 14 December 1842, Van Buren Township, Wayne County, Mich. Date of issue: 17 April 1917. Citation: Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and two barges loaded with subsistence stores.

LUTHER, JAMES H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 7th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Dighton, Mass. Date of issue: 28 June 1890. Citation: Among the first to jump into the enemy’s rifle pits, he himself captured and brought out three prisoners.

LUTY, GOTLIEB

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 74th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: West Manchester, Pa. Birth: Allegheny County, Pa. Date of issue: 5 October 1876. Citation: Bravely advanced to the enemy’s line under heavy fire and brought back valuable information.

MAXHAM, LOWELL M.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 7th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at:——. Birth: Carver, Mass. Date of issue: 24 August 1896. Citation: Though severely wounded and in face of a deadly fire from the enemy at short range, he rushed bravely forward and was among the first to enter the enemy’s works on the crest of Marye’s Heights and helped to plant his regimental colors there.

McADAMS, PETER

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 98th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: Went 250 yards in front of his regiment toward the position of the enemy and under fire brought within the lines a wounded and unconscious comrade.

MILES, NELSON A.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 61st New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 2_3 May 1863. Entered service at: Roxbury, Mass. Birth: Westminster, Mass. Date of issue: 23 July 1892. Citation: Distinguished gallantry while holding with his command an advanced position against repeated assaults by a strong force of the enemy; was severely wounded.

NASH, HENRY H.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 4 March 1842, Lanawee, Mich. Date of issue: 15 February 1909. Citation: Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores

OSS, ALBERT

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 11th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Newark, N.J. Birth: Belgium. Date of issue: 6 May 1892. Citation: Remained in the rifle pits after the others had retreated, firing constantly, and contesting the ground step by step.

PETERS, HENRY C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 29 February 1840, Monroe County, Mich. Date of issue: 5 April 1917. Citation: Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.

SACRISTE, LOUIS J.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company D, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. At Auburn, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 15 June 1843, New Castle County, Del. Date of issue: 3I January 1889. Citation: Saved from capture a gun of the 5th Maine Battery. Voluntarily carried orders which resulted in saving from destruction or capture the picket line of the 1st Division, 2d Army Corps.

SARTWELL, HENRY

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company D, 123d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Ft. Ann, N.Y. Birth: Ticonderoga, N.Y. Date of issue: 17 November 1896. Citation: Was severely wounded by a gunshot in his left arm, went half a mile to the rear but insisted on returning to his company and continue to fight bravely until he became exhausted from the loss of blood and was compelled to retire from the field.

SEWELL, WILLIAM J.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 5th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Camden, N.J. Born: 6 December 1835, Ireland. Date of issue: 25 March 1896. Citation: Assuming command of a brigade, he rallied around his colors a mass of men from other regiments and fought these troops with great brilliancy through several hours of desperate conflict, remaining in command though wounded and inspiring them by his presence and the gallantry of his personal example.

SHALER, ALEXANDER

Rank and organization: Colonel, 65th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Marye’s Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 19 March 1827, Haddam, Conn. Date of issue 25 November 1893. Citation: At a most critical moment, the head of the charging column being about to be crushed by the severe fire of the enemy’s artillery and infantry, he pushed forward with a supporting column, pierced the enemy’s works, and turned their flank.

SYPE, PETER

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 11 October 1841, Monroe County, Mich. Date of issue: 12 September 1911. Citation. Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.

TAYLOR, FORRESTER L.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company H, 23d New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville. Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 2 November 1896. Citation: At great risk voluntarily saved the lives of and brought from the battlefield 2 wounded comrades.

WARD, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Adrian, Mich. Born: 9 December 1840, Adrian, Mich. Date of issue: 2 January 1895. Citation: Voluntarily commanded the expedition which, under cover of darkness, attempted to run the enemy’s batteries.

WHEELER, DANIEL D.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company G, 4th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Cavendish, Vt. Birth: Cavendish, Vt. Date of issue: 28 March 1892. Citation: Distinguished bravery in action where he was wounded and had a horse shot from under him.

Indian Campaigns

CLARKE, POWHATAN H.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 10th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Pinito Mountains, Sonora, Mex., 3 May 1886. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Alexandria, La. Date of issue: 12 March 1891. Citation: Rushed forward to the rescue of a soldier who was severely wounded and lay, disabled, exposed to the enemy’s fire, and carried him to a place of safety.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 2 May

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

Civil War. Ten Medals from Chancellorsville.

BOODY, ROBERT

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

BRANNIGAN, FELIX

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

CRANSTON, WILLIAM W.

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

DILGER, HUBERT

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

GION, JOSEPH

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

HELLER, HENRY

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

JACOBSON, EUGENE P.

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

SEAMAN, ELISHA B

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

THOMPSON, THOMAS

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

THOMSON, CLIFFORD

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

TRACY, WILLIAM G.

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

Philppine Insurrection

BICKHAM, CHARLES G.

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

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

BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.

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

KELLER, LEONARD B.

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

LIVINGSTON, JAMES E.

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

VARGAS, M. SANDO, JR.

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

WRIGHT, RAYMOND R.

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

 

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 1 May

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

Civil War

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

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

O’NEILL, STEPHEN

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

Spanish-American War

ITRICH, FRANZ ANTON

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

World War II

SMITH, MAYNARD H. (Air Mission)

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

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Now is the time at the Castle… when we dance

Reprising a post from 2010, in the auld blogspace.


Thirty-five [Forty-six] years ago today, I was an about-to-graduate high school senior. State wrestling champ, All-state football player, with a scholarship offer from the University of Missouri. Ready to move on to the next phase.  Things were running smoothly.

I walked down the stairs to where my bedroom was, turned left, and the Auld Soldier was sitting on the couch, watching TV.  He was four months away from retiring after 27 years, two wars, a Silver Star, BSM w/v, and seven Purple Hearts.

He never noticed me.

He was watching the news.

He was watching the fall of Saigon, streaming into the family room.

I just went to the couch, sat next to him, and took his hand and we watched. I’ve only one other time seen that look on his face. The morning Mom died.  The ghosts in the room watched with us.

For many of our readers, the Vietnam War is an item from the history books. For others, like me, it’s a life event experienced at one degree of separation, others, at a greater remove.

And for a not insignificant number of us – zero degrees of separation. Callow youth became grizzled vets well before their 21st birthday.

It is that group I honor today. The ones among us who went there and have that t-shirt and polished the car with it many many times.

You did your best with what you had. The failure lies rather farther up the chain.

Perhaps as important – many of you made it your passion to insure that the newest group of grizzled vets didn’t come home from their war to the same reception you got returning from yours. And as many if not more of you have spent many long hours, days, months, years and dollars taking care of your brothers and sisters who didn’t come all the way home. Taking care of those the nation would rather have forgotten.

I’ve read Frances FitzGerald’s paean to the Viet Cong, Fire in the Lake. I still have the Auld Soldier’s copy. During the Fall of Saigon, she was interviewed for the Union College student newspaper [now-dead link removed].
FitzGerald won the Pulitzer Prize for her passionate embrace of the oppressed peasants simply striving for a better life free of imperialist hegemony, who apparently wanted nothing more than to establish a anarcho-syndicalist commune and take it upon themselves to take turns acting as a sort of executive officer for the week. She confidently predicted that the new, enlightened rulers of Vietnam would soon have free, multi-party elections.

How’d that work out for you, Ms. FitzGerald?  [In the fullness of time, the Vietnamese have clearly advanced their situation, after the predictable aftermath of a communist overthrow, and more rapidly and thoroughly I expect than most of us anticipated.  Good on them]

I’m not here to debate the ups and downs and rights and wrongs.

I’m here to honor those among who went and came back.

And, those who didn’t. The ghosts on our shoulders. I have a few ghosts from that era too. This one’s for you, too, Dad.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of the fallen of Vietnam.  And those who have since gone down the road to meet their buddies at Fiddler’s Green.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 30 April

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

Civil War

HEERMANCE, WILLIAM L.

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

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 29 April

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

Civil War

GUERIN, FITZ W.

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

HAMMEL, HENRY A.

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

PESCH, JOSEPH

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

WOON, JOHN

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

Indian Campaigns

REED, JAMES C.

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

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