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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 25 August

Today opens with a bridge-burning under fire at Waterloo Bridge, Va, in 1862, followed up by artilleryman, infantryman and cavalryman who earned their pay at Reams Station, Virginia in 1864.  We then seque to a bunch of Medals during the Indian Campaigns - awarded to a unit clearly recruited from amongst Irish immigrants...


TRIBE, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 5th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Waterloo Bridge, Va., 25 August 1862. Entered service at: Oswego, N.Y. Birth: Tioga County, N.Y. Date of issue: 11 June 1895. Citation: Voluntarily assisted in the burning and destruction of the bridge under heavy fire of the enemy.

GINLEY, PATRICK

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 1st New York Light Artillery. Place and date: At Reams Station, Va., 25 August 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 22 December 1822, Ireland. Date of issue: 31 October 1890. Citation: The command having been driven from the works, he, having been left alone between the opposing lines, crept back into the works, put 3 charges of canister in one of the guns, and fired the piece directly into a body of the enemy about to seize the works; he then rejoined his command, took the colors, and ran toward the enemy, followed by the command, which recaptured the works and guns.

PIPES, JAMES

Rank and organization: Captain, Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863; At Reams Station, Va., 25 August 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Green County, Pa. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: While a sergeant and retiring with his company before the rapid advance of the enemy at Gettysburg, he and a companion stopped and carried to a place of safety a wounded and helpless comrade; in this act both he and his companion were severely wounded. A year later, at Reams Station, Va., while commanding a skirmish line, voluntarily assisted in checking a flank movement of the enemy, and while so doing was severely wounded, suffering the loss of an arm.

ROHM, FERDINAND F.

Rank and organization: Chief Bugler, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date. At Reams Station, Va., 25 August 1864. Entered service at: Jumata County, Pa. Birth: Juniata County, Pa. Date of issue: 16 October 1897. Citation. While his regiment was retiring under fire voluntarily remained behind to succor a wounded officer who was in great danger, secured assistance, and removed the officer to a place of safety.


We then find ourselves in the Indian Campaigns, along the Agua Fria river and Seneca Mountain, Az, in 1869.  With this many Medals for a single fight, you see the impact of their being only one option at the time. Today, most of these awards would be Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, and possibly Distinguished Service Crosses - but with the citations used back then - any one of them could also be just as worthy a Medal as those awarded in more recent times.


CORCORAN, MICHAEL

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Agua Fria River, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

DONAVAN, CORNELIUS

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Agua Fria River, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

HAMILTON, FRANK

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Agua Fria River, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at:------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MAHERS, HERBERT

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Seneca Mountain, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at:------. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MORAN, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Seneca Mountain, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at:------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MURPHY, PHILIP

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Seneca Mountain, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MURPHY, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Seneca Mountain, Ariz., 25 August 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.

The Medal takes a rest until WWII, near Montereau, France, where a medic did what a medic does.


GARMAN, HAROLD A.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Medical Battalion, 5th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Montereau, France, 25 August 1944. Entered service at: Albion, Ill. Born: 26 February 1918, Fairfield, Ill. G.O. No.: 20, 29 March 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 25 August 1944, in the vicinity of Montereau, France, the enemy was sharply contesting any enlargement of the bridgehead which our forces had established on the northern bank of the Seine River in this sector. Casualties were being evacuated to the southern shore in assault boats paddled by litter bearers from a medical battalion. Pvt. Garman, also a litter bearer in this battalion, was working on the friendly shore carrying the wounded from the boats to waiting ambulances. As 1 boatload of wounded reached midstream, a German machinegun suddenly opened fire upon it from a commanding position on the northern bank 100 yards away. All of the men in the boat immediately took to the water except 1 man who was so badly wounded he could not rise from his litter. Two other patients who were unable to swim because of their wounds clung to the sides of the boat. Seeing the extreme danger of these patients, Pvt. Garman without a moment's hesitation plunged into the Seine. Swimming directly into a hail of machinegun bullets, he rapidly reached the assault boat and then while still under accurately aimed fire towed the boat with great effort to the southern shore. This soldier's moving heroism not only saved the lives of the three patients but so inspired his comrades that additional assault boats were immediately procured and the evacuation of the wounded resumed. Pvt. Garman's great courage and his heroic devotion to the highest tenets of the Medical Corps may be written with great pride in the annals of the corps.

The Medal next appears in 1968 near Ap Nhi, Vietnam, embodied in the actions of one tough truck driver.


*SEAY, WILLIAM W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 62d Transportation Company (Medium Truck), 7th Transportation Battalion, 48th Transportation Group. Place and date: Near Ap Nhi, Republic of Vietnam 25 August 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 24 October 1948, Brewton, Ala. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Seay distinguished himself while serving as a driver with the 62d Transportation Company, on a resupply mission. The convoy with which he was traveling, carrying critically needed ammunition and supplies from Long Binh to Tay Ninh, was ambushed by a reinforced battalion of the North Vietnamese Army. As the main elements of the convoy entered the ambush killing zone, they were struck by intense rocket, machinegun and automatic weapon fire from the well concealed and entrenched enemy force. When his convoy was forced to stop, Sgt. Seay immediately dismounted and took a defensive position behind the wheels of a vehicle loaded with high-explosive ammunition. As the violent North Vietnamese assault approached to within 10 meters of the road, Sgt. Seay opened fire, killing 2 of the enemy. He then spotted a sniper in a tree approximately 75 meters to his front and killed him. When an enemy grenade was thrown under an ammunition trailer near his position, without regard for his own safety he left his protective cover, exposing himself to intense enemy fire, picked up the grenade, and threw it back to the North Vietnamese position, killing 4 more of the enemy and saving the lives of the men around him. Another enemy grenade landed approximately 3 meters from Sgt. Seay's position. Again Sgt. Seay left his covered position and threw the armed grenade back upon the assaulting enemy. After returning to his position he was painfully wounded in the right wrist; however, Sgt. Seay continued to give encouragement and direction to his fellow soldiers. After moving to the relative cover of a shallow ditch, he detected 3 enemy soldiers who had penetrated the position and were preparing to fire on his comrades. Although weak from loss of blood and with his right hand immobilized, Sgt. Seay stood up and fired his rifle with his left hand, killing all 3 and saving the lives of the other men in his location. As a result of his heroic action, Sgt. Seay was mortally wounded by a sniper's bullet. Sgt. Seay, by his gallantry in action at the cost of his life, has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
*Indicates a posthumous award.