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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 27 October

[N.B. - for those of you following these posts - I've caught up the missing 21-26 October posts, but rather than make today "Medal of Honor Day as Castle Argghhh!" I'll direct you to the Medal of Honor archive to get caught up.]

This was a busy day during the Civil War, with 17 Medals of the 20 total awarded for this day being earned during 5 fights, one in 1862, the rest in 1864.

Civil War –First up is a fight at Georgia Landing, La, in 1862., followed by Boydton Plank Road, Va, Petersburg, Va, Hatcher’s Run, Va and Picket Boat #1’s fight with the confederate ram Albermarle.
Georgia Landing:

NOLAN, JOHN J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry. Place and date: At Georgia Landing, La., 27 October 1862. Entered service at: Nashua, N.H. Born: 24 June 1844, Ireland. Date of issue: 3 August 1897. Citation: Although prostrated by a cannon shot, refused to give up the flag which he was carrying as color bearer of his regiment and continued to carry it at the head of the regiment throughout the engagement.

Boydton Plank Road:

BONNAFFON, SYLVESTER, JR.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company G, 99th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Boydton Plank Road, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth:------. Date of issue: 29 September 1893. Citation: Checked the rout and rallied the troops of his command in the face of a terrible fire of musketry; was severely wounded.

EMBLER, ANDREW H.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 59th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Boydton Plank Road, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 19 October 1893. Citation: Charged at the head of 2 regiments, which drove the enemy's main body, gained the crest of the hill near the Burgess house and forced a barricade on the Boydton road.

Petersburg:

BROWN, JEREMIAH Z.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company K, 148th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Rimmersburg, Pa. Birth: Clarion County, Pa. Date of issue: 22 June 1896. Citation: With 100 selected volunteers, assaulted and captured the works of the enemy, together with a number of officers and men.

Hatcher’s Run:

MURPHY, DANIEL J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company F, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Lowell, Mass. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 47th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.).

ORR, CHARLES A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 187th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Bennington, N.Y. Birth: Holland, N.Y. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: This soldier and two others, voluntarily and under fire, rescued several wounded and helpless soldiers.

SMITH, ALONZO

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 7th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Jonesville, Mich. Born: 9 August 1842, Niagara County, N.Y. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 26th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.), while outside his lines far from his comrades.

SMITH, JOSEPH S.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel and Commissary of Subsistence, 2d Army Corps. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Maine. Birth: Wiscasset, Maine. Date of issue: 25 May 1892. Citation: Led a part of a brigade, saved 2 pieces of artillery, captured a flag, and secured a number of prisoners.

THAXTER, SIDNEY W.

Rank and organization: Major, 1st Maine Cavalry. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Bangor Maine. Birth: Bangor, Maine. Date of issue: 10 September 1897. Citation: Voluntarily remained and participated in the battle with conspicuous gallantry, although his term of service had expired and he had been ordered home to be mustered out.

WOODRUFF, ALONZO

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 27 October 1864. Entered service at: Ionia, Mich. Birth: lonia, Mich. Date of issue: 29 January 1896. Citation: Went to the assistance of a wounded and overpowered comrade, and in a hand_to_hand encounter effected his rescue.

Picket Boat #1 vs CSS Albemarle:

DENNING, LORENZO

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1843, Connecticut. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Denning served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1 in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

GEORGE, DANIEL G.

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. (Real name is William Smith. ) Born: 1840, Plaistow, N.H. Accredited to: New Hampshire. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: George served on board U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram, Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

HAMILTON, RICHARD

Rank and organization: Coal Heaver, U.S. Navy. Born: 1836, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Hamilton served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

HARLEY, BERNARD

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1842, Brooklyn, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Harley served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

HOUGHTON, EDWARD J.

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1843, Mobile, Ala. Accredited to: Alabama. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Houghton served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1 in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

KING, ROBERT H.

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Place: Plymouth, N.C. Born: 1845, New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: King served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram, Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

WILKES, HENRY

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1845, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Wilkes served on board U.S. Picket Boat No. 1 in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate Ram, Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and them made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

WWI

*PERKINS, MICHAEL J.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 101st Infantry, 26th Division. Place and date: At Belieu Bois, France, 27 October 1918. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Birth: Boston, Mass. G.O. No.: 34, W.D. 1919. Citation: He, voluntarily and alone, crawled to a German "pill box" machinegun emplacement, from which grenades were being thrown at his platoon. Awaiting his opportunity, when the door was again opened and another grenade thrown, he threw a bomb inside, bursting the door open, and then, drawing his trench knife, rushed into the emplacement. In a hand-to-hand struggle he killed or wounded several of the occupants and captured about 25 prisoners, at the same time silencing 7 machineguns.

WWII

COOLIDGE, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: East of Belmont sur Buttant, France, 24-27 October 1944. Entered service at: Signal Mountain, Tenn. Birth: Signal Mountain, Tenn. G.O. No.: 53, July 1945. Citation: Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On 27 October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.

Olson, Arlo – While his Medal citation states 13 October as the date of the action, the words of the citation cover through 27 October. As I use the citations as the authoritative date, Captain Olson is listed in the 13 October Medal of Honor Moment.

Korea

O'BRIEN, GEORGE H., JR.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company H, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 27 October, 1952. Entered service at: Big Spring, Tex. Born: 10 September 1926, Fort Worth, Tex. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a rifle platoon commander of Company H, in action against enemy aggressor forces. With his platoon subjected to an intense mortar and artillery bombardment while preparing to assault a vitally important hill position on the main line of resistance which had been overrun by a numerically superior enemy force on the preceding night, 2d Lt. O'Brien leaped from his trench when the attack signal was given and, shouting for his men to follow, raced across an exposed saddle and up the enemy-held hill through a virtual hail of deadly small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. Although shot through the arm and thrown to the ground by hostile automatic-weapons fire as he neared the well-entrenched enemy position, he bravely regained his feet, waved his men onward, and continued to spearhead the assault, pausing only long enough to go to the aid of a wounded marine. Encountering the enemy at close range, he proceeded to hurl handgrenades into the bunkers and, utilizing his carbine to best advantage in savage hand-to-hand combat, succeeded in killing at least 3 of the enemy. Struck down by the concussion of grenades on 3 occasions during the subsequent action, he steadfastly refused to be evacuated for medical treatment and continued to lead his platoon in the assault for a period of nearly 4 hours, repeatedly encouraging his men and maintaining superb direction of the unit. With the attack halted he set up a defense with his remaining forces to prepare for a counterattack, personally checking each position, attending to the wounded and expediting their evacuation. When a relief of the position was effected by another unit, he remained to cover the withdrawal and to assure that no wounded were left behind. By his exceptionally daring and forceful leadership in the face of overwhelming odds, 2d Lt. O'Brien served as a constant source of inspiration to all who observed him and was greatly instrumental in the recapture of a strategic position on the main line of resistance. His indomitable determination and valiant fighting spirit reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
 

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.