- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 19 August
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 18 August
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 17 August
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 16 August
- A thought...
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 15 August
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 14 August
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 13 August
- Ah, the pink elephants in the room.
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 12 August
- Let's get J(NTA) all excited again...
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 11 August
- A little something for the gunnutz amongst us...
- Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 10 August
We open todays Medals with the Civil War, with an iconic flag capture, moving to a Canadian-born Sergeant assuming command after the officers are disabled (I can hear the snickers now - "Oh, you mean from the time they left camp?") and even an uncharacteristically wordy citation for the Civil War era.
The Medal doesnt make an appearance on 18 August until 1942 in the Pacific, with a Marine Raider on Makin and a very determined Army fighter pilot over New Guinea in 1943.
So, trying to please Academic Ronin, I gather up some rifles, a box to use as a prop, and the camera. And I take some pictures. Then I put everything away, sit down at the computer, pull the SD card and slap it into the machine. And pull over the pictures and open them up in Photoshop. Only to find I should have looked at the pictures as I took them. The Nikon can do that. Because, well, I fiddled with settings a couple of weeks ago, trying to better understand what the camera was capable of. What I neglected to do was reset to my normal defaults. Or look at the pictures on the camera before I put everything away. Dumbass. I got some pretty pictures, though. Like this one.
The Medal makes its first appearance on this day in history during the China Relief Expediiton, in 1900. There are a slew of Medals, to twelve Marines and two sailors, covering the period from 28 June to 17 August, with most of them of the type that would be covered by different awards today - but back then, the Medal of Honor was the only award of its type. As is my convention, for Medals which cover more than one day, I list them on the last day of the covered period. This is also a rare day, as all the recipients......
We open this days awards with two for a fight at Deep Run, Virginia in 1864, and another flag capture (literally, thats all it says in the cites) at Front Royal.
The Medal next surfaces during the Indian War period, for a fight in the Cuchillo Negro Mountains of New Mexico in 1881.* HARDENBERGH, HENRY M. Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 39th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Deep Run, Va., 16 August 1864. Entered service at: Bremen, Ill. Birth: Noble County, Ind. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation. Capture of flag. He was wounded in the shoulder during this action. He was killed in action at Petersburg on 28 August 1864. SHELLENBERGER, JOHN S. Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Deep Run, Va., 16 August 1864. Entered service at: Perryopolis, Pa. Birth: ------. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag. KELLY, THOMAS Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 6th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Front Royal, Va., 16 August 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 August 1864. Citation: Capture of flag.
*Indicates a posthumous award. Posthumous awards are *very* rare in the Pre-WWI era.BURNETT, GEORGE R. Rank and organization. Second Lieutenant, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Cuchillo Negro Mountains, N. Mex., 16 August 1881. Entered servlce at: Spring Mills, Pa. Birth. Lower Providence Township Pa. Date of issue: 23 July 1897. Citation. Saved the life of a dismounted soldier, who was in imminent danger of being cut off, by alone galloping quickly to his assistance under heavy fire and escorting him to a place of safety, his horse being twice shot in this action. WALLEY, AUGUSTUS Rank and organization: Private, Company I, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Cuchillo Negro Mountains, N. Mex., 16 August 1881. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Reistertown, Md. Date of issue: 1 October 1890. Citation: Bravery in action with hostile Apaches. WILLIAMS, MOSES Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At foothills of the Cuchillo Negro Mountains, N. Mex., 16 August 1881. Entered service at. ------. Birth: Carrollton, La. Date of issue: 12 November 1896. Citation: Rallied a detachment, skillfully conducted a running flght of 3 or 4 hours, and by his coolness, bravery, and unflinching devotion to duty in standing by his commanding officer in an exposed position under a heavy fire from a large party of Indians saved the lives of at least 3 of his comrades.
A war that started on 28 July, ended on 15 August, if you take the long view. The Second 30 YEARS WAR for Europe, if perhaps the first for the world at large. And oh, the side-changing that went on... and, one wonders if were on the cusp of a new one, in the Middle East.
TO MY GOOD AND LOYAL SUBJECTS: After deeply pondering the general trends of the world and the current conditions of our Empire, I intend to effect a conclusion to the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. My subjects, I have ordered the Imperial Government to inform the four Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that our Empire is willing to accept the provisions of their Joint Declaration. The striving for peace and well-being of our imperial subjects, and the sharing of common happiness and prosperity amongst tens of thousands of nations is the duty left by our Imperial Ancestors, and I am the one who has not forgotten about this duty. The Empire declared war against the United States and Great Britain for the desire to preserve, by ourselves, the Empires existence in in East Asia and for the regions stability. As to the infringement of other nations sovereignty and invasion of other territorial entities, those were not my original intent. By now, the fighting has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the gallantry of our naval and land military forces, the diligence and assiduity of hundreds of civil service officers, and the public devotion and service of one hundred million of our people, the situation on the war has not turned for the better, and the general trends of the world are not advantageous to us either. In addition, the enemy has recently used a most cruel explosive. The frequent killing of innocents and the effect of destitution it entails are incalculable. Should we continue fighting in the war, it would cause not only the complete Annihilation of our nation, but also the destruction of the human civilization. With this in mind, how should I save billions of our subjects and their posterity, and atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why I ordered the Imperial Government to accept the Joint Declaration. I, from the start, have worked with our various Allied nations towards the liberation of East Asia, and I cannot refrain from expressing my deepest sense of regret to our Allies. The thought of our Imperial subjects dying in the battlefields, sacrificing themselves in the line of duty, and those who died in vain and their relatives, pains my heart and body to the point of fragmentation. As for the bearing of the wounds of war, the tragedies of war, and the welfare of the those who lost their families and careers, it is the objects of our profound solicitude. From today hereafter, the Empire will endure excruciating hardships. I am keenly aware of the feelings of my subjects, but in accordance to the dictates of fate, I am willing to endure the unendurable, tolerate the intolerable, for peace to last thousands of generations. Having always protected the Imperial State in general, I rely on the loyal subjects integrity and sincerity, and I shall always be with you subjects. If we become stimulated by sensations, and begin to engender needless complications, engage in fraternal contention and strike or create confusion, we will become astray and lose the confidence of the world. We must rally the nation, and continue from generation to generation to entrench the imperishability of this sacred state. Aware of the heavy responsibility and the long road ahead, we must focus completely on the futures construction, follow strictly the ways of our noble morals with determination and resolution. We swear to foster and spread the glory and essence of our Imperial State, so we will not fall behind the evolution of the world. It is my hope that my subjects will understand my intentionsShort version: They kicked our a$$. It hurts. Their Navy is off the coast, ready to keep kicking us in the a$$. Please stop. My bad. One reason the Navy was off their coast? A nice, little representative example of decadent westerners? Rear Admiral Spragues order: "Small boys - intercept." Three destroyers and three destroyer escorts went up against battleships and cruisers, in order to save the jeep carriers of Taffy 3, consisting of escort carriers USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70), USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), USS Kalinin Bay (CVE-68), USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71), USS Saint Louis (CVE-63) and USS White Plains (CVE-66). They were escorted by the tin cans USS Hoel (DD-553), USS Johnston (DD-557) and USS Heermann (DD-532), and the destroyer escorts USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413), USS Raymond (DE-341), USS Dennis (DE-405) and USS John C. Butler (DE-339). They faced a force from the Imperial Japanese Navy consisting of 11 destroyers, 2 light and 6 heavy cruisers, and 4 battleships, including the Yamato, the largest battleship ever built. In the LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS, they won. Nuff said. THE BATTLE OFF SAMAR. Just one episode among many in the Pacific War. That lead to Victory over Japan.
We open today with the Battle of Front Royal, VA, in 1864, and two fellows who together snatched the colors of the 3d Virginia. LESLIE, FRANK Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 4th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Front Royal, Va., 15 August 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: England. Date of issue: 26 August 1864. Citation: Capture of colors of 3d Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). MANDY, HARRY J. Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company B, 4th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Front Royal, Va., 15 August 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. Date...
We open with the Civil War and a fight at Deep Bottom, Viriginia.
We then take a break until the China Relief Expedition and two Medals during the Battle of Peking. Today we meet our first double-recipient of the Medal, Private Dan Daly, who would go on to greater fame as a Marine Sergeant Major - and give us one of our most famous battle cries: ""Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" as he urged his Marines forward in Belleau Wood during World War I. Hell earn his second Medal during World War I, too - but not during the period of our participation, it will be in Haiti in 1915. During WWI hell have to settle for a Navy Cross. The very model of a Marine as they want us to believe they all are at heart... None of that should overshadow Musician Titus and his Medal for being the first to scale the wall into the Forbidden City.PICKLE, ALONZO H. Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry. Place and date: At Deep Bottom, Va., 14 August 1864. Entered service at: Dover, Minn. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 12 June 1895. Citation: At the risk of his life, voluntarily went to the assistance of a wounded officer Iying close to the enemys lines and, under fire carried him to a place of safety.
DALY, DANIEL JOSEPH (First Award) Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 11 November 1873, Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y. Accredited to. New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Other Navy Awards: Second Medal of Honor, Navy Cross. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct. TITUS, CALVIN PEARL Rank and organization: Musician, U.S. Army, Company E, 14th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Peking, China, 14 August 1900. Entered service at: Iowa. Birth: Vinton, Iowa. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Gallant and daring conduct in the presence of his colonel and other officers and enlisted men of his regiment; was first to scale the wall of the city.*Indicates a posthumous award.
Today was a quiet one for the Medal until 1952, in Korea. Hospital Corpsman Kilmer exemplifies the reason all combat veterans revere the medics.
*KILMER, JOHN E. Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman, U.S. Navy, attached to duty as a medical corpsman with a Marine rifle company in the 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Korea, 13 August 1952. Entered service at: Houston, Tex. Born: 15 August 1930, Highland Park, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces. With his company engaged in defending a vitally important hill position well forward of the main line of resistance during an assault by large concentrations of hostile troops, HC Kilmer repeatedly braved intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire to move from 1 position to another, administering aid to the wounded and expediting their evacuation. Painfully wounded himself when struck by mortar fragments while moving to the aid of a casualty, he persisted in his efforts and inched his way to the side of the stricken marine through a hail of enemy shells falling around him. Undaunted by the devastating hostile fire, he skillfully administered first aid to his comrade and, as another mounting barrage of enemy fire shattered the immediate area, unhesitatingly shielded the wounded man with his body. Mortally wounded by flying shrapnel while carrying out this heroic action, HC Kilmer, by his great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice in saving the life of a comrade, served to inspire all who observed him. His unyielding devotion to duty in the face of heavy odds reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for another.*Indicates a posthumous award.
Jackson County (Missouri) Sheriffs very nicely done-up urban assault vehicles. Getting the use they probably most often get - that of displays (one would hope, anyway). Jackson County does include the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri, including some very sketchy areas. I dont know how often the KCMO police department requests assistance from the Sheriff, however. While out in Colorado I ran across a similar situation and I did ask the driver of the vehicle about maintenance costs - he rolled his eyes and clearly slotted me into "Oh, one of *THOSE* people." Yeah, someone who probably knows more about the topic than you do, Sergeant.
Today the Medal first appears during the tail end of the Indian Campaigns with some Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th Cavalry. Sergeant Jordan is cited for his conduct in two separate fights. Todays awards also includes one of the "catch-up" awards made during 2014 stemming from the review of the possible impacts of racism in the awards process.
The Medal didnt surface on this day in history until the Vietnam War.
*WHEAT, ROY M. Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 11 August 1967. Entered service at Jackson, Miss. Born: 24 July 1947, Moselle, Miss. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. L/Cpl. Wheat and 2 other marines were assigned the mission of providing security for a Navy construction battalion crane and crew operating along Liberty Road in the vicinity of the Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province. After the marines had set up security positions in a tree line adjacent to the work site, L/Cpl. Wheat reconnoitered the area to the rear of their location for the possible presence of guerrillas. He then returned to within 10 feet of the friendly position, and here unintentionally triggered a well concealed, bounding type, antipersonnel mine. Immediately, a hissing sound was heard which was identified by the 3 marines as that of a burning time fuse. Shouting a warning to his comrades, L/Cpl. Wheat in a valiant act of heroism hurled himself upon the mine, absorbing the tremendous impact of the explosion with his body. The inspirational personal heroism and extraordinary valor of his unselfish action saved his fellow marines from certain injury and possible death, reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.I have a nit to pick with citation. Lance Corporal Wheat gave his life for his buddies. Country didnt enter into it. You enlist (or dont flee the draft) because of country. In combat - only the fanatics die for that reason. The rest of us die because we got an unlucky draw from the statistics pool, or we do it for our buddies. The job is to make sure the *other* guy gets the unlucky draw. No knock on Wheat, I just dont like this phraseology in the citations. Too much "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" in it for my non-Victorian tastes. *Indicates a posthumous award.
Today we open with the Civil War, and one of the opening battles - this one being nearly a local one to the Castle - Wilsons Creek, near Springfield, Missouri. Wilsons Creek was a saga of opportunities lost or squandered by both sides, and in microcosm displayed the fissures that would eventually doom the southern cause in Missouri and Arkansas - the squabbles amongst the generals. The Federals lost an able general when Lyons was killed, and saddled with a mediocre one in Franz Sigel - whos greatest contribution overall to the war effort was his ability to get the German immigrants in Missouri and elsewhere to enlist in the Union army. Wilsons Creek also marks the rising of the star of John Schofield, who would reach great heights and make a mark in American history.