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West Virginia
Medal of Honor Recipients

 

CIVIL WAR

ADAMS, JAMES F.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Nineveh, Va., 12 November 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Cabell County, Va. Date of issue: 26 November 1864. Citation: Capture of State flag of 14th Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.)

ANDERSON, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox Station, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Washington County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of Confederate flag.

APPLE, ANDREW O.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Northampton, Pa. Date of issue: 12 May 1865. Citation: Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.

BARRINGER, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Entered service at: Jackson County, W. Va. Birth: ------. Date of issue: 12 July 1894. Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

BLACKMAR, WILMON W.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company H, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Five Forks, Va., 1 April 1865. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Bristol, Pa. Date of issue: 23 October 1897. Citation: At a critical stage of the battle, without orders, led a successful advance upon the enemy.

BOON, HUGH P.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company B, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:------. Born: 28 July 1831, Washington, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BOURY, RICHARD

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Charlottesville, Va., 5 March 1865. Entered service at: Wirt Courthouse, W. Va. Birth: Monroe County, Ohio. Date of issue: 26 March 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

BUCKLEY, JOHN C.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Fayette County, W. Va. Date of issue: 9 July 1894. Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

BUMGARNER, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1862. Entered service at: Mason City, W. Va. Birth:------. Date of issue: 10 July 1894. Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

BURNS, JAMES M.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 1st West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At New Market, Va., 15 May 1864. Entered service at: Jefferson County, Ohio. Birth: Jefferson County, Ohio. Date of issue: 20 November 1896. Citation: Under a heavy fire of musketry, rallied a few men to the support of the colors, in danger of capture and bore them to a place of safety. One of his comrades having been severely wounded in the effort, Sgt. Burns went back a hundred yards m the face of the enemy's fire and carried the wounded man from the..? (This was incomplete)

CAPEHART, HENRY

Rank and organization: Colonel, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Greenbrier River, W. Va., 22 May 1864. Entered service at: Bridgeport, Ohio. Born: 18 March 1825, Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. Date of issue: 12 February 1895. Citation: Saved, under fire, the life of a drowning soldier.

CUNNINGHAM, FRANCIS M.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company H, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Springfield, Pa. Birth: Somerset County, Pa. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 12th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.) in hand-to-hand battle while wounded.

CURTIS, JOSIAH M.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company I, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Entered service at: Ohio County, W. Va. Birth: Ohio County, W. Va. Date of issue: 12 May 1865. Citation: Seized the colors of his regiment after 2 color bearers had fallen, bore them gallantly, and was among the first to gain a foothold, with his flag, inside the enemy's works.

DURHAM, JAMES R.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company E, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: Clarksburg, W. Va. Born: 7 February 1833, Richmond, W. Va. Date of issue: 6 March 1890. Citation: Led his command over the stone wall, where he was wounded.

ECKES, JOHN N.

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 47th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Entered service at: Weston, W. Va. Birth: Lewis County, W. Va. Date of issue: 21 July 1894. Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

HOULTON, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Clymer, N.Y. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

KIMBALL, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Ironton, Ohio. Birth: Littleton, N.H. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 6th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.

McCAUSLlN, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Entered service at: Ohio County, W. Va. Birth: Ohio County, W. Va. Date of issue: 12 May 1865. Citation: Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.

McELHINNY, SAMUEL O.

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Point Pleasant, W. Va. Birth. Meigs County, Ohio. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

McWHORTER, WALTER F.

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, Company E, 3d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: Harrison County, W. Va. Birth: Lewis County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 6th Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.).

MOORE, GEORGE G.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 11th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Fishers Hill, Va., 22 September 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Tyler County W. Va. Date of issue: 6 October 1864. Citation: Capture of flag.

NORTH, JASPER N.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Entered service at: Ames, Ohio. Birth:------. Date of issue: 27 July 1894. Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

PARSONS, JOEL

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Entered service at: Mason City, W. Va. Birth: ------. Date of issue: 16 August 1894 Citation: Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

POWELL, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Major, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sinking Creek Valley, Va., 26 November 1862. Entered service at: Ironton, Ohio. Birth: England. Date of issue: 22 July 1890. Citation: Distinguished services in raid, where with 20 men, he charged and captured the enemy's camp, 500 strong, without the loss of man or gun.

REEDER, CHARLES A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Battery Gregg, near Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Entered service at:------. Birth: Harrison, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 April 1867. Citation: Capture of flag.

ROWAND, ARCHIBALD H., JR.

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: Winter of 1864_65. Entered service at: Pittsburgh, Pa. Born: 6 March 1845, Philadelphia, Pa., Date of issue: 3 March 1873. Citation: Was 1 of 2 men who succeeded in getting through the enemy's lines with dispatches to Gen. Grant.

SCHORN, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Chief Bugler, Company M, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Mason City, W. Va. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of the Sumter Flying Artillery (C.S.A.).

SHAHAN, EMISIRE

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at:------. Birth: Preston County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 76th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

SHANES, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 14th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Carters Farm, Va., 20 July 1864. Entered service at:------. Birth: Monomgalis County, W.Va. Date of issue: 31 January 1896. Citation: Charged upon a Confederate fieldpiece in advance of his comrades and by his individual exertions silenced the piece.

SHIELDS, BERNARD

Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 2d West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Appomattox, Va., 8 April 1865. Entered service at: Ironton, Ohio. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of the Washington Artillery (C.S.A.).

SHOEMAKER, LEVI

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Nineveh, Va., 12 November 1864. Entered service at:------. Birth: Monongalia County, W. Va. Date of issue: 26 November 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 22d Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.).

SUMMERS, JAMES C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 4th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1 863. Entered service at: Kanawha County, W. Va. Born: 14 February 1838, Kanawha County, W. Va. Date of issue: 25 February 1895. Citation: Gallantry in charge of the "volunteer storming party."

WHITE, ADAM

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 11th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Hatchers Run, Va., 2 April 1865. Entered service at: Parkersburg, W. Va. Birth: Switzerland. Date of issue: 13 June 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

WOODS, DANIEL A.

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 1st Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ohio County, W. Va. Date of issue: 3 May 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 18th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).


 

PHILLIPINE INSURRECTION

GAUJOT, ANTOINE A.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company M, 27th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At San Mateo, Philippine Islands, 19 December 1899. Entered service at: Williamson, W. Va. Birth: Keweenaw, Mich. Date of issue: 15 February I911. Citation: Attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.


 

WORLD WAR II

BELL, BERNARD P.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: Mittelwihr, France, 18 December 1944. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Grantsville, W. Va. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945. Citation: For fighting gallantly at Mittelwihr, France. On the morning of 18 December 1944, he led a squad against a schoolhouse held by enemy troops. While his men covered him, he dashed toward the building, surprised 2 guards at the door and took them prisoner without firing a shot. He found that other Germans were in the cellar. These he threatened with hand grenades, forcing 26 in all to emerge and surrender. His squad then occupied the building and prepared to defend it against powerful enemy action. The next day, the enemy poured artillery and mortar barrages into the position, disrupting communications which T/Sgt. Bell repeatedly repaired under heavy small-arms fire as he crossed dangerous terrain to keep his company commander informed of the squad's situation. During the day, several prisoners were taken and other Germans killed when hostile forces were attracted to the schoolhouse by the sound of captured German weapons fired by the Americans. At dawn the next day the enemy prepared to assault the building. A German tank fired round after round into the structure, partially demolishing the upper stories. Despite this heavy fire, T/Sgt. Bell climbed to the second floor and directed artillery fire which forced the hostile tank to withdraw. He then adjusted mortar fire on large forces of enemy foot soldiers attempting to reach the American position and, when this force broke and attempted to retire, he directed deadly machinegun and rifle fire into their disorganized ranks. Calling for armored support to blast out the German troops hidden behind a wall, he unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy small-arms fire to stand beside a friendly tank and tell its occupants where to rip holes in walls protecting approaches to the school building. He then trained machineguns on the gaps and mowed down all hostile troops attempting to cross the openings to get closer to the school building. By his intrepidity and bold, aggressive leadership, T/Sgt. Bell enabled his 8-man squad to drive back approximately 150 of the enemy, killing at least 87 and capturing 42. Personally, he killed more than 20 and captured 33 prisoners.

BENDER, STANLEY

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near La Lande, France, 17 August 1944. Entered service at: Chicago, 111. Born: 31 October 1909, Carlisle, W. Va. G.O. No.: 7, 1 February 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 17 August 1944, near La Lande, France, he climbed on top of a knocked-out tank, in the face of withering machinegun fire which had halted the advance of his company, in an effort to locate the source of this fire. Although bullets ricocheted off the turret at his feet, he nevertheless remained standing upright in full view of the enemy for over 2 minutes. Locating the enemy machineguns on a knoll 200 yards away, he ordered 2 squads to cover him and led his men down an irrigation ditch, running a gauntlet of intense machinegun fire, which completely blanketed 50 yards of his advance and wounded 4 of his men. While the Germans hurled hand grenades at the ditch, he stood his ground until his squad caught up with him, then advanced alone, in a wide flanking approach, to the rear of the knoll. He walked deliberately a distance of 40 yards, without cover, in full view of the Germans and under a hail of both enemy and friendly fire, to the first machinegun and knocked it out with a single short burst. Then he made his way through the strong point, despite bursting hand grenades, toward the second machinegun, 25 yards distant, whose 2-man crew swung the machinegun around and fired two bursts at him, but he walked calmly through the fire and, reaching the edge of the emplacement, dispatched the crew. Signaling his men to rush the rifle pits, he then walked 35 yards further to kill an enemy rifleman and returned to lead his squad in the destruction of the 8 remaining Germans in the strong point. His audacity so inspired the remainder of the assault company that the men charged out of their positions, shouting and yelling, to overpower the enemy roadblock and sweep into town, knocking out 2 antitank guns, killing 37 Germans and capturing 26 others. He had sparked and led the assault company in an attack which overwhelmed the enemy, destroying a roadblock, taking a town, seizing intact 3 bridges over the Maravenne River, and capturing commanding terrain which dominated the area.

CHAMBERS, JUSTICE M.

Rank and organization: Colonel. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3rd Assault Battalion Landing Team. 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division. Place and date: On Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. from 19 to 22 February 1945. Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Born: 2 February 1908, Huntington, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 3d Assault Battalion Landing Team, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19 to 22 February 1945. Under a furious barrage of enemy machinegun and small-arms fire from the commanding cliffs on the right, Col. Chambers (then Lt. Col.) landed immediately after the initial assault waves of his battalion on D-day to find the momentum of the assault threatened by heavy casualties from withering Japanese artillery, mortar rocket, machinegun, and rifle fire. Exposed to relentless hostile fire, he coolly reorganized his battle-weary men, inspiring them to heroic efforts by his own valor and leading them in an attack on the critical, impregnable high ground from which the enemy was pouring an increasing volume of fire directly onto troops ashore as well as amphibious craft in succeeding waves. Constantly in the front lines encouraging his men to push forward against the enemy's savage resistance, Col. Chambers led the 8-hour battle to carry the flanking ridge top and reduce the enemy's fields of aimed fire, thus protecting the vital foothold gained. In constant defiance of hostile fire while reconnoitering the entire regimental combat team zone of action, he maintained contact with adjacent units and forwarded vital information to the regimental commander. His zealous fighting spirit undiminished despite terrific casualties and the loss of most of his key officers, he again reorganized his troops for renewed attack against the enemy's main line of resistance and was directing the fire of the rocket platoon when he fell, critically wounded. Evacuated under heavy Japanese fire, Col. Chambers, by forceful leadership, courage, and fortitude in the face of staggering odds, was directly instrumental in insuring the success of subsequent operations of the 5th Amphibious Corps on Iwo Jima, thereby sustaining and enhancing the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

FEMOYER, ROBERT E. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 711th Bombing Squadron, 447th Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over Merseburg, Germany, 2 November 1944. Entered service at: Jacksonville, Fla. Born: 31 October 1921, Huntington, W. Va. G.O. No.: 35, 9 May 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Merseburg, Germany, on 2 November 1944. While on a mission, the bomber, of which 2d Lt. Femoyer was the navigator, was struck by 3 enemy antiaircraft shells. The plane suffered serious damage and 2d Lt. Femoyer was severely wounded in the side and back by shell fragments which penetrated his body. In spite of extreme pain and great loss of blood he refused an offered injection of morphine. He was determined to keep his mental faculties clear in order that he might direct his plane out of danger and so save his comrades. Not being able to arise from the floor, he asked to be propped up in order to enable him to see his charts and instruments. He successfully directed the navigation of his lone bomber for 2 1/2 hours so well it avoided enemy flak and returned to the field without further damage. Only when the plane had arrived in the safe area over the English Channel did he feel that he had accomplished his objective; then, and only then, he permitted an injection of a sedative. He died shortly after being removed from the plane. The heroism and self-sacrifice of 2d Lt. Femoyer are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

HEDRICK, CLINTON M.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 194th Glider Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Lembeck, Germany, 27-28 March 1945. Entered service at: Riverton, W. Va. Birth: Cherrygrove, W. Va. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945. Citation: He displayed extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action on 2728 March 1945, in Germany. Following an airborne landing near Wesel, his unit was assigned as the assault platoon for the assault on Lembeck. Three times the landing elements were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from strongly defended positions. Each time, T/Sgt. Hedrick fearlessly charged through heavy fire, shooting his automatic rifle from his hip. His courageous action so inspired his men that they reduced the enemy positions in rapid succession. When 6 of the enemy attempted a surprise, flanking movement, he quickly turned and killed the entire party with a burst of fire. Later, the enemy withdrew across a moat into Lembeck Castle. T/Sgt. Hedrick, with utter disregard for his own safety, plunged across the drawbridge alone in pursuit. When a German soldier, with hands upraised, declared the garrison wished to surrender, he entered the castle yard with 4 of his men to accept the capitulation. The group moved through a sally port, and was met by fire from a German self-propelled gun. Although mortally wounded, T/Sgt. Hedrick fired at the enemy gun and covered the withdrawal of his comrades. He died while being evacuated after the castle was taken. His great personal courage and heroic leadership contributed in large measure to the speedy capture of Lembeck and provided an inspiring example to his comrades.

KELLEY, JONAH E.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 311th Infantry, 78th Infantry Division. Place and date: Kesternich, Germany, 3031 January 1945. Entered service at: Keyser, W. Va. Birth: Roda, W. Va. G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945. Citation: In charge of the leading squad of Company E, he heroically spearheaded the attack in furious house-to-house fighting. Early on 30 January, he led his men through intense mortar and small arms fire in repeated assaults on barricaded houses. Although twice wounded, once when struck in the back, the second time when a mortar shell fragment passed through his left hand and rendered it practically useless, he refused to withdraw and continued to lead his squad after hasty dressings had been applied. His serious wounds forced him to fire his rifle with 1 hand, resting it on rubble or over his left forearm. To blast his way forward with hand grenades, he set aside his rifle to pull the pins with his teeth while grasping the missiles with his good hand. Despite these handicaps, he created tremendous havoc in the enemy ranks. He rushed l house, killing 3 of the enemy and clearing the way for his squad to advance. On approaching the next house, he was fired upon from an upstairs window. He killed the sniper with a single shot and similarly accounted for another enemy soldier who ran from the cellar of the house. As darkness came, he assigned his men to defensive positions, never leaving them to seek medical attention. At dawn the next day, the squad resumed the attack, advancing to a point where heavy automatic and small arms fire stalled them. Despite his wounds, S/Sgt. Kelley moved out alone, located an enemy gunner dug in under a haystack and killed him with rifle fire. He returned to his men and found that a German machinegun, from a well-protected position in a neighboring house, still held up the advance. Ordering the squad to remain in comparatively safe positions, he valiantly dashed into the open and attacked the position single-handedly through a hail of bullets. He was hit several times and fell to his knees when within 25 yards of his objective; but he summoned his waning strength and emptied his rifle into the machinegun nest, silencing the weapon before he died. The superb courage, aggressiveness, and utter disregard for his own safety displayed by S/Sgt. Kelley inspired the men he led and enabled them to penetrate the last line of defense held by the enemy in the village of Kesternich.

MAYFIELD, MELVIN

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company D, 20th Infantry, 6th Infantry Division. Place and date: Cordillera Mountains, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 29 July 1945. Entered service at: Nashport, Ohio. Birth: Salem, W. Va. G.O. No.: 49, 31 May 1946. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while fighting in the Cordillera Mountains of Luzon, Philippine Islands. When 2 Filipino companies were pinned down under a torrent of enemy fire that converged on them from a circular ridge commanding their position, Cpl. Mayfield, in a gallant single-handed effort to aid them, rushed from shell hole to shell hole until he reached 4 enemy caves atop the barren fire-swept hill. With grenades and his carbine, he assaulted each of the caves while enemy fire pounded about him. However, before he annihilated the last hostile redoubt, a machinegun bullet destroyed his weapon and slashed his left hand. Disregarding his wound, he secured more grenades and dauntlessly charged again into the face of pointblank fire to help destroy a hostile observation post. By his gallant determination and heroic leadership, Cpl. Mayfield inspired the men to eliminate all remaining pockets of resistance in the area and to press the advance against the enemy.

THOMAS, HERBERT JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 8 February 1918, Columbus, Ohio. Accredited to: West Virginia. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the battle at the Koromokina River, Bougainville Islands, Solomon Islands, on 7 November 1943. Although several of his men were struck by enemy bullets as he led his squad through dense jungle undergrowth in the face of severe hostile machinegun fire, Sgt. Thomas and his group fearlessly pressed forward into the center of the Japanese position and destroyed the crews of 2 machineguns by accurate rifle fire and grenades. Discovering a third gun more difficult to approach, he carefully placed his men closely around him in strategic positions from which they were to charge after he had thrown a grenade into the emplacement. When the grenade struck vines and fell back into the midst of the group, Sgt. Thomas deliberately flung himself upon it to smother the explosion, valiantly sacrificing his life for his comrades. Inspired by his selfless action, his men unhesitatingly charged the enemy machinegun and, with fierce determination, killed the crew and several other nearby-defenders. The splendid initiative and extremely heroic conduct of Sgt. Thomas in carrying out his prompt decision with full knowledge of his fate reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

WETZEL, WALTER C.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division. Place and date: Birken, Germany, 3 April 1945. Entered service at: Roseville, Mich. Birth: Huntington, W. Va. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: Pfc. Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Antitank Company of the 13th Infantry, was guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, 2 of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Pfc. Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism.

WILLIAMS, HERSHEL WOODROW

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Entered service at: West Virginia. Born: 2 October 1923, Quiet Dell, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


 

INDIAN CAMPAIGNS

CRISWELL, BANJAMIN C.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Little Big Horn River, Mont., 25 June 1876. Entered service at:------. Birth: Marshall County, W. Va. Date of issue: 5 October 1878. Citation: Rescued the body of Lt. Hodgson from within the enemy's lines; brought up ammunition and encouraged the men in the most exposed positions under heavy fire.

DIXON, WILLIAM

Rank: Scout. Born: 25 October 1850, Ohio County, West Virginia. War: Indian Campaigns. Organization: 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place: Wichita River, Texas. Action date: 12 September 1874. Issue date: 4 November 1874. Citation: Gallantry in action.
(In 1916, the general review of all Medals of Honor deemed 900 unwarranted. This recipient was one of them. In June 1989, the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Records restored the medal to this recipient.)


 

SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

QUICK, JOHN HENRY

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 June 1870, Charleston, W. Va. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 504 13 December 1898. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: In action during the battle of Cuzco, Cuba, 14 June 1898. Distinguishing himself during this action, Quick signaled the U.S.S. Dolphin on 3 different occasions while exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy.


 

INTERIM AWARDS, 1901-1911

COX, ROBERT EDWARD

Rank and organizarion: Chief Gunner's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 22 December 1855, St. Albans, W. Va. Accredited to: West Virginia. G.O. No.: 43, 14 April 1921. (Medal presented by President Harding.) Citation: For extraordinary heroism on U.S.S. Missouri 13 April, 1904. While at target practice off Pensacola, Fla., an accident occurred in the after turret of the Missouri whereby the lives of 5 officers and 28 men were lost. The ship was in imminent danger of destruction by explosion, and the prompt action of C.G. Cox and 2 gunners' mates caused the fire to be brought under control, and the loss of the Missouri, together with her crew, was averted.


 

MEXICAN CAMPAIGN (VERA CRUZ)

FRAZER, HUGH CARROLL

Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Vera Cruz, Mexico, 22 April 1914. Entered service at: West Virginia. Birth: Martinsburg, W. Va. G.O. No.: 177, 4 December 1915. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. During this engagement, Ens. Frazer ran forward to rescue a wounded man, exposing himself to hostile fire and that of his own men. Having accomplished the mission, he returned at once to his position in line.

GAUJOT, JULIEN E.

Rank and organization: Captain, Troop K, 1st U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Aqua Prieta, Mexico, 13 April 1911. Entered service at: Williamson, W. Va. Birth: Keweenaw, Mich. Date of issue: 23 November 1912. Citation: Crossed the field of fire to obtain the permission of the rebel commander to receive the surrender of the surrounded forces of Mexican Federals and escort such forces, together with 5 Americans held as prisoners, to the American line.

SINNETT, LAWRENCE C.

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 4 April 1888, Burnt House, W. Va. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 101, 15 June 1914. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Florida, Sinnett showed extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914.


 

INTERIM AWARDS, 1915-1916

JONES, CLAUD ASHTON

Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 October 1885, Fire Creek, W.Va. Accredited to: West Virginia. (1 August 1932.) Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as a senior engineer officer on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when the vessel was suffering total destruction from a hurricane while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916. Lt. Jones did everything possible to get the engines and boilers ready, and if the elements that burst upon the vessel had delayed for a few minutes, the engines would have saved the vessel. With boilers and steampipes bursting about him in clouds of scalding steam, with thousands of tons of water coming down upon him and in almost complete darkness, Lt. Jones nobly remained at his post as long as the engines would turn over, exhibiting the most supreme unselfish heroism which inspired the officers and men who were with him. When the boilers exploded, Lt. Jones, accompanied by 2 of his shipmates, rushed into the firerooms and drove the men there out, dragging some, carrying others to the engineroom, where there was air to be breathed instead of steam. Lt. Jones' action on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.


 

KOREAN WAR

CHARLTON, CORNELIUS H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Chipo-ri, Korea, 2 June 1951. Entered service at: Bronx, N.Y. Born: 24 July 1929, East Gulf, W. Va. G.O. No.: 30, 19 March 1952. Citation: Sgt. Charlton, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. His platoon was attacking heavily defended hostile positions on commanding ground when the leader was wounded and evacuated. Sgt. Charlton assumed command, rallied the men, and spearheaded the assault against the hill. Personally eliminating 2 hostile positions and killing 6 of the enemy with his rifle fire and grenades, he continued up the slope until the unit suffered heavy casualties and became pinned down. Regrouping the men he led them forward only to be again hurled back by a shower of grenades. Despite a severe chest wound, Sgt. Charlton refused medical attention and led a third daring charge which carried to the crest of the ridge. Observing that the remaining emplacement which had retarded the advance was situated on the reverse slope, he charged it alone, was again hit by a grenade but raked the position with a devastating fire which eliminated it and routed the defenders. The wounds received during his daring exploits resulted in his death but his indomitable courage, superb leadership, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself the infantry, and the military service.

POMEROY, RALPH E.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kumhwa, Korea, 15 October 1952. Entered service at: Quinwood, W. Va. Born: 26 March 1930, Quinwood, W. Va. G.O. No.: 97, 30 December 1953. Citation: Pfc. Pomeroy, a machine gunner with Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While his comrades were consolidating on a key terrain feature, he manned a machinegun at the end of a communication trench on the forward slope to protect the platoon flank and prevent a surprise attack. When the enemy attacked through a ravine leading directly to his firing position, he immediately opened fire on the advancing troops inflicting a heavy toll in casualties and blunting the assault. At this juncture the enemy directed intense concentrations of artillery and mortar fire on his position in an attempt to neutralize his gun. Despite withering fire and bursting shells, he maintained his heroic stand and poured crippling fire into the ranks of the hostile force until a mortar burst severely wounded him and rendered the gun mount inoperable. Quickly removing the hot, heavy weapon, he cradled it in his arms and, moving forward with grim determination, raked the attacking forces with a hail of fire. Although wounded a second time he pursued his relentless course until his ammunition was expended within 10 feet of the foe and then, using the machinegun as a club, he courageously closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until mortally wounded. Pfc. Pomeroy's consummate valor, inspirational actions and supreme sacrifice enabled the platoon to contain the attack and maintain the integrity of the perimeter, reflecting lasting glory upon himself and upholding the noble traditions of the military service.


 

VIETNAM WAR

BELCHER, TED

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Plei Djerang, Republic of Vietnam, 19 November 1966. Entered service at: Huntington, W . Va. Born: 21 July 1924, Accoville, W . Va. Citation: Distinguishing himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. Sgt. Belcher's unit was engaged in a search and destroy mission with Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, the Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon and a special forces company of civilian irregular defense group personnel. As a squad leader of the 2d Platoon of Company C, Sgt. Belcher was leading his men when they encountered a bunker complex. The reconnaissance platoon, located a few hundred meters northwest of Company C, received a heavy volume of fire from well camouflaged snipers. As the 2d Platoon moved forward to assist the unit under attack, Sgt. Belcher and his squad, advancing only a short distance through the dense jungle terrain, met heavy and accurate automatic weapons and sniper fire. Sgt. Belcher and his squad were momentarily stopped by the deadly volume of enemy fire. He quickly gave the order to return fire and resume the advance toward the enemy. As he moved up with his men, a hand grenade landed in the midst of the sergeant's squad. Instantly realizing the immediate danger to his men, Sgt. Belcher, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, lunged forward, covering the grenade with his body. Absorbing the grenade blast at the cost of his life, he saved his comrades from becoming casualties. Sgt. Belcher's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

BENNETT, THOMAS W.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 2d Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry. Place and date: Chu Pa Region, Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, 9-11 February 1969. Entered service at: Fairmont, W. Va. Born: 7 April 1947, Morgantown, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Cpl. Bennett distinguished himself while serving as a platoon medical aidman with the 2d Platoon, Company B, during a reconnaissance-in-force mission. On 9 February the platoon was moving to assist the 1st Platoon of Company D which had run into a North Vietnamese ambush when it became heavily engaged by the intense small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket fire from a well fortified and numerically superior enemy unit. In the initial barrage of fire, 3 of the point members of the platoon fell wounded. Cpl. Bennett, with complete disregard for his safety, ran through the heavy fire to his fallen comrades, administered life-saving first aid under fire and then made repeated trips carrying the wounded men to positions of relative safety from which they would be medically evacuated from the battle position. Cpl. Bennett repeatedly braved the intense enemy fire moving across open areas to give aid and comfort to his wounded comrades. He valiantly exposed himself to the heavy fire in order to retrieve the bodies of several fallen personnel. Throughout the night and following day, Cpl. Bennett moved from position to position treating and comforting the several personnel who had suffered shrapnel and gunshot wounds. On 11 February, Company B again moved in an assault on the well fortified enemy positions and became heavily engaged with the numerically superior enemy force. Five members of the company fell wounded in the initial assault. Cpl. Bennett ran to their aid without regard to the heavy fire. He treated 1 wounded comrade and began running toward another seriously wounded man. Although the wounded man was located forward of the company position covered by heavy enemy grazing fire and Cpl. Bennett was warned that it was impossible to reach the position, he leaped forward with complete disregard for his safety to save his comrade's life. In attempting to save his fellow soldier, he was mortally wounded. Cpl. Bennett's undaunted concern for his comrades at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

HARTSOCK, ROBERT W.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 44th Infantry Platoon, 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Hau Nghia, Province, Republic of Vietnam, 23 February 1969. Entered service at: Fairmont, W. Va. Born: 24 January 1945, Cumberland, Md. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Hartsock, distinguished himself in action while serving as section leader with the 44th Infantry Platoon. When the Dau Tieng Base Camp came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, S/Sgt. Hartsock and his platoon commander spotted an enemy sapper squad which had infiltrated the camp undetected. Realizing the enemy squad was heading for the brigade tactical operations center and nearby prisoner compound, they concealed themselves and, although heavily outnumbered, awaited the approach of the hostile soldiers. When the enemy was almost upon them, S/Sgt. Hartsock and his platoon commander opened fire on the squad. As a wounded enemy soldier fell, he managed to detonate a satchel charge he was carrying. S/Sgt. Hartsock, with complete disregard for his life, threw himself on the charge and was gravely wounded. In spite of his wounds, S/Sgt. Hartsock crawled about 5 meters to a ditch and provided heavy suppressive fire, completely pinning down the enemy and allowing his commander to seek shelter. S/Sgt. Hartsock continued his deadly stream of fire until he succumbed to his wounds. S/Sgt. Hartsock's extraordinary heroism and profound concern for the lives of his fellow soldiers were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*HARVEY, CARMEL BERNON, JR.

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 June 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 6 October 1946, Montgomery, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Harvey distinguished himself as a fire team leader with Company B, during combat operations. Ordered to secure a downed helicopter, his platoon established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft, but shortly thereafter a large enemy force attacked the position from 3 sides. Sp4c. Harvey and 2 members of his squad were in a position directly in the path of the enemy onslaught, and their location received the brunt of the fire from an enemy machinegun. In short order, both of his companions were wounded, but Sp4c. Harvey covered this loss by increasing his deliberate rifle fire at the foe. The enemy machinegun seemed to concentrate on him and the bullets struck the ground all around his position. One round hit and armed a grenade attached to his belt. Quickly, he tried to remove the grenade but was unsuccessful. Realizing the danger to his comrades if he remained and despite the hail of enemy fire, he jumped to his feet, shouted a challenge at the enemy, and raced toward the deadly machinegun. He nearly reached the enemy position when the grenade on his belt exploded, mortally wounding Sp4c. Harvey, and stunning the enemy machinegun crew. His final act caused a pause in the enemy fire, and the wounded men were moved from the danger area. Sp4c. Harvey's dedication to duty, high sense of responsibility, and heroic actions inspired the others in his platoon to decisively beat back the enemy attack. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.


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