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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 28 September

We open with the Civil War.

 

BLISS, GEORGE N.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. Place and date: At Waynesboro, Va., 28 September 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Tiverton, R.I. Date of issue: 3 August 1897. Citation: While in command of the provost guard in the village, he saw the Union lines returning before the attack of a greatly superior force of the enemy, mustered his guard, and, without orders, joined in the defense and charged the enemy without support. He received three saber wounds, his horse was shot, and he was taken prisoner.



Next up - the Indian Campaigns, and three troopers of the 4th Cavalry along the Red River in Texas.

 

MAHONEY, GREGORY

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near Red River, Tex., 26-28 September 1874. Entered service at: ------. Birth: South Wales. Date of issue: 13 October 1875. Citation: Gallantry in attack on a large party of Cheyennes.

McCABE, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near Red River, Tex., 26-28 September 1874. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 13 October 1875. Citation: Gallantry in attack on a large party of Cheyennes.

PHOENIX, EDWIN

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near Red River, Tex., 26-28 September 1874. Entered service at: Kentucky. Birth: St. Louis, Mo. Date of issue: 13 October 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action.



Next we find ourselves in the Philippine Islands, during the Insurrection.

 

FERGUSON, ARTHUR M.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: Near Porac, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 28 September 1899. Entered service at: Burlington, Kans. Birth: Coffey County, Kans. Date of issue: 8 March 1902. Citation: Charged alone a body of the enemy and captured a captain.



That burst of Medals from WWI the last two days continues.

 

*MILLER, OSCAR F.

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 361st Infantry, 91st Division. Place and date: Near Gesnes, France, 28 September 1918. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif. Birth: Franklin County, Ark. G.O. No.: 16, W.D. 1919. Citation: After 2 days of intense physical and mental strain, during which Maj. Miller had led his battalion in the front line of the advance through the forest of Argonne, the enemy was met in a prepared position south of Gesnes. Though almost exhausted, he energetically reorganized his battalion and ordered an attack. Upon reaching open ground the advancing line began to waver in the face of machinegun fire from the front and flanks and direct artillery fire. Personally leading his command group forward between his front-line companies, Maj. Miller inspired his men by his personal courage, and they again pressed on toward the hostile position. As this officer led the renewed attack he was shot in the right leg, but he nevertheless staggered forward at the head of his command. Soon afterwards he was again shot in the right arm, but he continued the charge, personally cheering his troops on through the heavy machinegun fire. Just before the objective was reached he received a wound in the abdomen, which forced him to the ground, but he continued to urge his men on, telling them to push on to the next ridge and leave him where he lay. He died from his wounds a few days later.

SCHAFFNER, DWITE H.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 306th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: Near St. Hubert's Pavillion, Boureuilles, France, 28 September 1918. Entered service at: Falls Creek, Pa. Birth: Arroya, Pa. G.O. No.: 15, W.D., 1923. Citation: He led his men in an attack on St. Hubert's Pavillion through terrific enemy machinegun, rifle, and artillery fire and drove the enemy from a strongly held entrenched position after hand-to-hand fighting. His bravery and contempt for danger inspired his men, enabling them to hold fast in the face of 3 determined enemy counterattacks. His company's position being exposed to enemy fire from both flanks, he made 3 efforts to locate an enemy machinegun which had caused heavy casualties. On his third reconnaissance he discovered the gun position and personally silenced the gun, killing or wounding the crew. The third counterattack made by the enemy was initiated by the appearance of a small detachment in advance of the enemy attacking wave. When almost within reach of the American front line the enemy appeared behind them, attacking vigorously with pistols, rifles, and handgrenades, causing heavy casualties in the American platoon. 1st Lt. Schaffner mounted the parapet of the trench and used his pistol and grenades killing a number of enemy soldiers, finally reaching the enemy officer leading the attacking forces, a captain, shooting and mortally wounding the latter with his pistol, and dragging the captured officer back to the company's trench, securing from him valuable information as to the enemy's strength and position. The information enabled 1st Lt. Schaffner to maintain for S hours the advanced position of his company despite the fact that it was surrounded on 3 sides by strong enemy forces. The undaunted bravery, gallant soldierly conduct, and leadership displayed by 1st Lt. Schaffner undoubtedly saved the survivors of the company from death or capture.

*STOWERS, FREDDIE

Corporal Stowers, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism on 28 September 1918 while serving as a squad leader in Company C, 371st Infantry Regiment, 93d Division. His company was the lead company during the attack on Hill 188, Champagne Marne Sector, France, during World War I. A few minutes after the attack began, the enemy ceased firing and began climbing up onto the parapets of the trenches, holding up their arms as if wishing to surrender. The enemy's actions caused the American forces to cease fire and to come out into the open. As the company started forward and when within about 100 meters of the trench line, the enemy jumped back into their trenches and greeted Corporal Stowers' company with interlocking bands of machine gun fire and mortar fire causing well over fifty percent casualties. Faced with incredible enemy resistance, Corporal Stowers took charge, setting such a courageous example of personal bravery and leadership that he inspired his men to follow him in the attack. With extraordinary heroism and complete disregard of personal danger under devastating fire, he crawled forward leading his squad toward an enemy machine gun nest, which was causing heavy casualties to his company. After fierce fighting, the machine gun position was destroyed and the enemy soldiers were killed. Displaying great courage and intrepidity Corporal Stowers continued to press the attack against a determined enemy. While crawling forward and urging his men to continue the attack on a second trench line, he was gravely wounded by machine gun fire. Although Corporal Stowers was mortally wounded, he pressed forward, urging on the members of his squad, until he died. Inspired by the heroism and display of bravery of Corporal Stowers, his company continued the attack against incredible odds, contributing to the capture of Hill 188 and causing heavy enemy casualties. Corporal Stowers' conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and supreme devotion to his men were well above and beyond the call of duty, follow the finest traditions of military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.


Then, on to WWII.

 

*ROEDER, ROBERT E.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company G, 350th Infantry, 88th Infantry Division. Place and date: Mt. Battaglia, Italy, 27-28 September 1944. Entered service at: Summit Station, Pa. Birth: Summit Station, Pa. G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Roeder commanded his company in defense of the strategic Mount Battaglia. Shortly after the company had occupied the hill, the Germans launched the first of a series of determined counterattacks to regain this dominating height. Completely exposed to ceaseless enemy artillery and small-arms fire, Capt. Roeder constantly circulated among his men, encouraging them and directing their defense against the persistent enemy. During the sixth counterattack, the enemy, by using flamethrowers and taking advantage of the fog, succeeded in overrunning the position. Capt. Roeder led his men in a fierce battle at close quarters, to repulse the attack with heavy losses to the Germans. The following morning, while the company was engaged in repulsing an enemy counterattack in force, Capt. Roeder was seriously wounded and rendered unconscious by shell fragments. He was carried to the company command post, where he regained consciousness. Refusing medical treatment, he insisted on rejoining his men. Although in a weakened condition, Capt. Roeder dragged himself to the door of the command post and, picking up a rifle, braced himself in a sitting position. He began firing his weapon, shouted words of encouragement, and issued orders to his men. He personally killed 2 Germans before he himself was killed instantly by an exploding shell. Through Capt. Roeder's able and intrepid leadership his men held Mount Battaglia against the aggressive and fanatical enemy attempts to retake this important and strategic height. His valorous performance is exemplary of the fighting spirit of the U.S. Army.


*Asterisk indicates a posthumous award.