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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 19 July

Again, we open with the Civil War
DODDS, EDWARD E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 21st New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Ashbys Gap, Va., 19 July 1864. Entered service at: Rochester, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 11 June 1896. Citation: At great personal risk rescued his wounded captain and carried him from the field to a place of safety.

Now we move on to the Philippine Insurrection.
BYRNE, BERNARD A.

Rank and organization: Captain, 6th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Bobong, Negros, Philippine Islands, 19 July 1899. Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Birth: Newport Barracks, Va. Date of issue: 15 July 1902. Citation: Most distinguished gallantry in rallying his men on the bridge after the line had been broken and pushed back.

Then, on to World War I

BOONE, JOEL THOMPSON

Rank and organization: Lieutenant (Medical Corps), U.S. Navy. Place and date: Vicinity Vierzy, France, 19 July 1918. Entered service at: St. Clair, Pa. Born: 2 August 1889, St. Clair, Pa. Citation: For extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and intrepidity while serving with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy. With absolute disregard for personal safety, ever conscious and mindful of the suffering fallen, Surg. Boone, leaving the shelter of a ravine, went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded marines. This occurred southeast of Vierzy, near the cemetery, and on the road south from that town. When the dressings and supplies had been exhausted, he went through a heavy barrage of large-caliber shells, both high explosive and gas, to replenish these supplies, returning quickly with a sidecar load, and administered them in saving the lives of the wounded. A second trip, under the same conditions and for the same purpose, was made by Surg. Boone later that day.
 
PARKER, SAMUEL

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 28th Infantry, 1st Division. Place and date: Near Soissons, France, 18-19 July 1918. Entered service at: Monroe, N.C. Birth: Monroe, N.C. G.O. No.: 1, W.D. 1937. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. During the attack the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 28th Infantry were merged, and after several hours of severe fighting, successfully established a frontline position. In so doing, a gap was left between the right flank of the French 153d Division on their left and the left flank of the 28th Infantry, exposing the left flank to a terrific enfilade fire from several enemy machineguns located in a rock quarry on high ground. 2d Lt. Parker, observing this serious situation, ordered his depleted platoon to follow him in an attack upon the strong point. Meeting a disorganized group of French Colonials wandering leaderlessly about, he persuaded them to join his platoon. This consolidated group followed 2d Lt. Parker through direct enemy rifle and machinegun fire to the crest of the hill, and rushing forward, took the quarry by storm, capturing 6 machineguns and about 40 prisoners. The next day when the assault was continued, 2d Lt. Parker in command of the merged 2d and 3d Battalions was in support of the 1st Battalion. Although painfully wounded in the foot, he refused to be evacuated and continued to lead his command until the objective was reached. Seeing that the assault battalion was subjected to heavy enfilade fire due to a gap between it and the French on its left, 2d Lt. Parker led his battalion through this heavy fire up on the line to the left of the 1st Battalion and thereby closed the gap, remaining in command of his battalion until the newly established lines of the 28th Infantry were thoroughly consolidated. In supervising the consolidation of the new position, 2d Lt. Parker was compelled to crawl about on his hands and knees on account of his painful wound. His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.
And now, World War II

*CHRISTENSEN, DALE ELDON

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Troop E, 112th Cavalry Regiment. Place and date: Driniumor River, New Guinea, 16-19 July 1944. Entered service at: Gray, Iowa. Birth: Cameron Township, Iowa. G.O. No.: 36, 10 May 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty along the Driniumor River, New Guinea, from 16-19 July 1944. 2d Lt. Christensen repeatedly distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in the continuous heavy fighting which occurred in this area from 16-19 July. On 16 July, his platoon engaged in a savage fire fight in which much damage was caused by 1 enemy machinegun effectively placed. 2d Lt. Christensen ordered his men to remain under cover, crept forward under fire, and at a range of 15 yards put the gun out of action with hand grenades. Again, on 19 July, while attacking an enemy position strong in mortars and machineguns, his platoon was pinned to the ground by intense fire. Ordering his men to remain under cover, he crept forward alone to locate definitely the enemy automatic weapons and the best direction from which to attack. Although his rifle was struck by enemy fire and knocked from his hands he continued his reconnaissance, located 5 enemy machineguns, destroyed 1 with hand grenades, and rejoined his platoon. He then led his men to the point selected for launching the attack and, calling encouragement, led the charge. This assault was successful and the enemy was driven from the positions with a loss of 4 mortars and 10 machineguns and leaving many dead on the field. On 4 August 1944, near Afua, Dutch New Guinea, 2d Lt. Christensen was killed in action about 2 yards from his objective while leading his platoon in an attack on an enemy machinegun position. 2d Lt. Christensen's leadership, intrepidity, and repeatedly demonstrated gallantry in action at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, exemplify the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.
 

We skip to Korea and move ahead to Vietnam
*GERTSCH, JOHN G.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S.. Army, Company E, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 15 to 19 July 1969. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Born: 29 September 1944, Jersey City, N.J.: Citation: S/Sgt. Gertsch distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant and platoon leader during combat operations in the A Shau Valley. During the initial phase of an operation to seize a strongly defended enemy position, S/Sgt. Gertsch's platoon leader was seriously wounded and lay exposed to intense enemy fire. Forsaking his own safety, without hesitation S/Sgt. Gertsch rushed to aid his fallen leader and dragged him to a sheltered position. He then assumed command of the heavily engaged platoon and led his men in a fierce counterattack that forced the enemy to withdraw. Later, a small element of S/Sgt. Gertsch's unit was reconnoitering when attacked again by the enemy. S/Sgt. Gertsch moved forward to his besieged element and immediately charged, firing as he advanced. His determined assault forced the enemy troops to withdraw in confusion and made possible the recovery of 2 wounded men who had been exposed to heavy enemy fire. Sometime later his platoon came under attack by an enemy force employing automatic weapons, grenade, and rocket fire. S/Sgt. Gertsch was severely wounded during the onslaught but continued to command his platoon despite his painful wound. While moving under fire and encouraging his men he sighted an aidman treating a wounded officer from an adjacent unit. Realizing that both men were in imminent danger of being killed, he rushed forward and positioned himself between them and the enemy nearby. While the wounded officer was being moved to safety S/Sgt. Gertsch was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Without S/Sgt. Gertsch's courage, ability to inspire others, and profound concern for the welfare of his men, the loss of life among his fellow soldiers would have been significantly greater. His conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit on him and the Armed Forces of his country.
 
*Indicates a posthumous award.