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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 13 July

There are 12 13 Medals awarded for actions on this day in only two fights, one during the Indian Campaigns and the other during the China Relief Expedition - and now, one in Afghanistan. Today's list reflects the fact that we really had no other award of this nature to bestow back in the 19th century.**  Many of these awards here today would most likely be Bronze Stars w/V, Silver Stars, and Distinguished Service Crosses.  That said - bear in mind that all these awards have been reviewed and stood the test of time.  With an average of a little over 9 per day, today is one of those days that makes up for the short ones.

During the Indian Campaigns, a fight with the Apaches in the Whetstone Mountains of Arizona.
  

 

GLYNN, MICHAEL

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 13 July 1872. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 4 December 1874. Citation: Dtove off, singlehanded, 8 hostile Indians, killing and wounding 5.

NEWMAN, HENRY

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company F, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 13 July 1872. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 4 December 1874. Citation: He and 2 companions covered the withdrawal of wounded comrades from the fire of an Apache band well concealed among rocks.

NIHILL, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., 13 July 1872. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Born: 1850, Ireland. Date of issue: 4 December 1874. Citation: Fought and defeated 4 hostile Apaches located between him and his comrades.
 

China Relief Expedition

 

ADAMS, JOHN MAPES

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 11 October 1871, Haverhill, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Adams distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

ADRIANCE, HARRY CHAPMAN

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 27 October 1864, Oswego, N.Y. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Adriance distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

BREWSTER, ANDRE W.

Rank and organization: Captain, 9th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Hoboken, N.J. Date of issue: 15 September 1903. Citation: While under fire rescued 2 of his men from drowning.

COONEY, JAMES

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 27 July 1860, Limerick, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Cooney distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

FOLEY, ALEXANDER JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 19 February 1866, Heckersville, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy in the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Foley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

LAWTON, LOUIS B.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 9th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900. Entered service at: Auburn, N.Y. Birth: Independence, Iowa. Date of i55ue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Carried a message and guided reinforcements across a wide and fireswept space, during which he was thrice wounded.

MATHIAS, CLARENCE EDWARD

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 12 December 1876, Royalton, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the advance on Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Mathias distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

SUTTON, CLARENCE EDWIN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 18 February 1871, Middlesex County, Va. Accredited to: Washington, D.C. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900. Although under heavy fire from the enemy, Sutton assisted in carrying a wounded officer from the field of battle.

*VON SCHLICK, ROBERT H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 9th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900. Entered service at: San Erancisco, Calif. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Although previously wounded while carrying a wounded comrade to a place of safety, rejoined his command, which partly occupied an exposed position upon a dike, remaining there after his command had been withdrawn, singly keeping up the fire, and obliviously presenting himself as a conspicuous target until he was literally shot off his position by the enemy.

 

**There were, episodically, things like "Certificates of Merit" but there was no real organized, rational awards regime established until the Span-Am/WWI era - not coincidentally coinciding with a larger standing force than was previously common.

Afghanistan, the Battle of Wanat.

PITTS, RYAN M.

Place / Date: July 13, 2008, Wanat ViIlage, Kunar Province, Afghanistan
Date of Issue: 07/21/2014

Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Forward Observer in 2d Platoon, Chosen Company, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade during combat operations against an armed enemy at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler in the vicinity of Wanat Village, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 13, 2008. Early that morning, while Sergeant Pitts was providing perimeter security at Observation Post Topside, a well-organized Anti-Afghan Force consisting of over 200 members initiated a close proximity sustained and complex assault using accurate and intense rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun and small arms fire on Wanat Vehicle Patrol Base. An immediate wave of rocket-propelled grenade rounds engulfed the Observation Post wounding Sergeant Pitts and inflicting heavy casualties. Sergeant Pitts had been knocked to the ground and was bleeding heavily from shrapnel wounds to his arm and legs, but with incredible toughness and resolve, he subsequently took control of the Observation Post and returned fire on the enemy. As the enemy drew nearer, Sergeant Pitts threw grenades, holding them after the pin was pulled and the safety lever was released to allow a nearly immediate detonation on the hostile forces. Unable to stand on his own and near death because of the severity of his wounds and blood loss, Sergeant Pitts continued to lay suppressive fire until a two-man reinforcement team arrived. Sergeant Pitts quickly assisted them by giving up his main weapon and gathering ammunition all while continually lobbing fragmentary grenades until these were expended. At this point, Sergeant Pitts crawled to the northern position radio and described the situation to the Command Post as the enemy continued to try and isolate the Observation Post from the main Patrol Base. With the enemy close enough for him to hear their voices and with total disregard for his own life, Sergeant Pitts whispered in the radio situation reports and conveyed information that the Command Post used to provide indirect fire support. Sergeant Pitts' courage, steadfast commitment to the defense of his unit and ability to fight while seriously wounded prevented the enemy from overrunning the Observation Post and capturing fallen American soldiers, and ultimately prevented the enemy from gaining fortified positions on higher ground from which to attack Wanat Vehicle Patrol Base. Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts' extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade and the United States Army.


*Indicates a posthumous award (and today's posthumous award, to Von Schlick, is unusual, as Medals were not usually awarded posthumously until WWI and later).