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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 7 October

Seven Medals for actions on this day in history. One, a naval Medal during the "Interim Awards,1871-1898" period,  four from WWI, and one each from WWII and Korea.  The most famous of these Medal Holders is the Major who commanded the "Lost Battalion" in France in 1918. 
BELPITT, W. H.

Rank and organization: Captain of the Afterguard, U.S. Navy. Born: 1859, Sydney, Australia. (Letter No. 126, 27 October 1884, LCDR Iverson, U .S. Navy.) Citation: On board the U.S.S. Monocacy, Foochow, China, 7 October 1884. Jumping overboard from that vessel on the morning of this date, Belpitt sustained, until picked up, a Chinaman who had been thrown into the water by the capsizing of a canoe.

WWI.  The battles of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive continue, and soldiers keep earning the Medal. 
BARKLEY, JOHN L.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company K, 4th Infantry, 3d Division. Place and date: Near Cunel, France, 7 October 1918. Entered service at: Blairstown, Mo. Born: 28 August 1895 Blairstown, Mo. G.O. No.: 44, W.D., 1919. Citation: Pfc. Barkley, who was stationed in an observation post half a kilometer from the German line, on his own initiative repaired a captured enemy machinegun and mounted it in a disabled French tank near his post. Shortly afterward, when the enemy launched a counterattack against our forces, Pfc. Barkley got into the tank, waited under the hostile barrage until the enemy line was abreast of him and then opened fire, completely breaking up the counterattack and killing and wounding a large number of the enemy. Five minutes later an enemy 77-millimeter gun opened fire on the tank pointblank. One shell struck the drive wheel of the tank, but this soldier nevertheless remained in the tank and after the barrage ceased broke up a second enemy counterattack, thereby enabling our forces to gain and hold Hill 25.

HILL, RALYN M.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company H, 129th Infantry, 33d Division. Place and date: Near Donnevoux, France, 7 October 1918. Entered service at: Oregon, Ill. Born: 6 May 1899, Lindenwood, Ill. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919. Citation: Seeing a French airplane fall out of control on the enemy side of the Meuse River with its pilot injured, Cpl. Hill voluntarily dashed across the footbridge to the side of the wounded man and, taking him on his back, started back to his lines. During the entire exploit he was subjected to murderous fire of enemy machineguns and artillery, but he successfully accomplished his mission and brought his man to a place of safety, a distance of several hundred yards.

TALLEY, EDWARD R.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Ponchaux, France, 7 October 1918. Entered service at: Russellville, Tenn. Born: 8 September 1890, Russellville, Tenn. G.O. No.: 50, W.D., 1919. Citation: Undeterred by seeing several comrades killed in attempting to put a hostile machinegun nest out of action, Sgt. Talley attacked the position single-handed. Armed only with a rifle, he rushed the nest in the face of intense enemy fire, killed or wounded at least 6 of the crew, and silenced the gun. When the enemy attempted to bring forward another gun and ammunition he drove them back by effective fire from his rifle.

WHITTLESEY, CHARLES W.

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 308th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: Northeast of Binarville, in the forest of Argonne France, 2-7 October 1918. Entered service at: Pittsfield, Mass. Birth. Florence, Wis. G.O. No.: 118, W.D., 1918. Citation: Although cut off for 5 days from the remainder of his division, Maj. Whittlesey maintained his position, which he had reached under orders received for an advance, and held his command, consisting originally of 46 officers and men of the 308th Infantry and of Company K of the 307th Infantry, together in the face of superior numbers of the enemy during the 5 days. Maj. Whittlesey and his command were thus cut off, and no rations or other supplies reached him, in spite of determined efforts which were made by his division. On the 4th day Maj. Whittlesey received from the enemy a written proposition to surrender, which he treated with contempt, although he was at the time out of rations and had suffered a loss of about 50 percent in killed and wounded of his command and was surrounded by the enemy.

WWII and one very tough Second Lieutenant.
*HARRIS, JAMES L.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 756th Tank Battalion. Place and date: At Vagney, France, 7 October 1944. Entered service at: Hillsboro, Tex. Birth: Hillsboro, Tex. G.O. No.: 32, 23 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 October 1944, in Vagney, France. At 9 p.m. an enemy raiding party, comprising a tank and 2 platoons of infantry, infiltrated through the lines under cover of mist and darkness and attacked an infantry battalion command post with hand grenades, retiring a short distance to an ambush position on hearing the approach of the M-4 tank commanded by 2d Lt. Harris. Realizing the need for bold aggressive action, 2d Lt. Harris ordered his tank to halt while he proceeded on foot, fully 10 yards ahead of his 6-man patrol and armed only with a service pistol, to probe the darkness for the enemy. Although struck down and mortally wounded by machinegun bullets which penetrated his solar plexus, he crawled back to his tank, leaving a trail of blood behind him, and, too weak to climb inside it, issued fire orders while lying on the road between the 2 contending armored vehicles. Although the tank which he commanded was destroyed in the course of the fire fight, he stood the enemy off until friendly tanks, preparing to come to his aid, caused the enemy to withdraw and thereby lose an opportunity to kill or capture the entire battalion command personnel. Suffering a second wound, which severed his leg at the hip, in the course of this tank duel, 2d Lt. Harris refused aid until after a wounded member of his crew had been carried to safety. He died before he could be given medical attention.

 

And finally, Korea and a typically tough Marine.
*WATKINS, LEWIS G.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company I, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 7 October 1952. Entered service at: Seneca, S.C. Born. 6 June 1925, Seneca, S.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a guide of a rifle platoon of Company I, in action against enemy aggressor forces during the hours of darkness on the morning of 7 October 1952. With his platoon assigned the mission of retaking an outpost which had been overrun by the enemy earlier in the night, S/Sgt. Watkins skillfully led his unit in the assault up the designated hill. Although painfully wounded when a well-entrenched hostile force at the crest of the hill engaged the platoon with intense small-arms and grenade fire, he gallantly continued to lead his men. Obtaining an automatic rifle from 1 of the wounded men, he assisted in pinning down an enemy machine gun holding up the assault. When an enemy grenade landed among S/Sgt. Watkins and several other marines while they were moving forward through a trench on the hill crest, he immediately pushed his companions aside, placed himself in a position to shield them and picked up the deadly missile in an attempt to throw it outside the trench. Mortally wounded when the grenade exploded in his hand, S/Sgt. Watkins, by his great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, saved the lives of several of his comrades and contributed materially to the success of the mission. His extraordinary heroism, inspiring leadership, and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
 

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.