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Medal of Honor Recipients
World War I (T to Y)

Medal of Honor was given posthumously. TALBOT, RALPH

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 6 January 1897, South Weymouth, Mass. Appointed from: Connecticut.

Citation... For exceptionally meritorious service and extraordinary heroism while attached to Squadron C, 1st Marine Aviation Force, in France. 2d Lt. Talbot participated in numerous air raids into enemy territory. On 8 October 1918, while on such a raid, he was attacked by 9 enemy scouts, and in the fight that followed shot down an enemy plane. Also, on 14 October 1918, while on a raid over Pittham, Belgium, 2d Lt. Talbot and another plane became detached from the formation on account of motor trouble and were attacked by 12 enemy scouts. During the severe fight that followed, his plane shot down 1 of the enemy scouts. His observer was shot through the elbow and his gun jammed. 2d Lt. Talbot maneuvered to gain time for his observer to clear the jam with one hand, and then returned to the fight. The observer fought until shot twice, once in the stomach and once in the hip and then collapsed, 2d Lt. Talbot attacked the nearest enemy scout with his front guns and shot him down. With his observer unconscious and his motor failing, he dived to escape the balance of the enemy and crossed the German trenches at an altitude of 50 feet, landing at the nearest hospital to leave his observer, and then returning to his aerodrome.

TALLEY, EDWARD R.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Ponchaux, France, 7 October 1918. Entered service at: Russellville, Tenn. Born: 8 September 1890, Russellville, Tenn. G.O. No.: 50, W.D., 1919.

Citation... Undeterred by seeing several comrades killed in attempting to put a hostile machinegun nest out of action, Sgt. Talley attacked the position single-handed. Armed only with a rifle, he rushed the nest in the face of intense enemy fire, killed or wounded at least 6 of the crew, and silenced the gun. When the enemy attempted to bring forward another gun and ammunition he drove them back by effective fire from his rifle.

THOMPSON, JOSEPH H.

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 110th Infantry, 28th Division. Place and date: Near Apremont, France, 1 October 1918. Entered service at: Beaver Falls, Pa. Born: 26 September 1871, Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland. G.O. No.: 21, W.D., 1925.

Citation... Counterattacked by 2 regiments of the enemy, Maj. Thompson encouraged his battalion in the front line of constantly braving the hazardous fire of machineguns and artillery. His courage was mainly responsible for the heavy repulse of the enemy. Later in the action, when the advance of his assaulting companies was held up by fire from a hostile machinegun nest and all but 1 of the 6 assaulting tanks were disabled, Maj. Thompson, with great gallantry and coolness, rushed forward on foot 3 separate times in advance of the assaulting line, under heavy machinegun and antitank-gun fire, and led the 1 remaining tank to within a few yards of the enemy machinegun nest, which succeeded in reducing it, thereby making it possible for the infantry to advance.

TURNER, HAROLD L.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company F, 142d Infantry, 36th Division. Place and date: Near St. Etienne, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Seminole, Okla. Born: 5 May 1898, Aurora, Mo. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919.

Citation... After his platoon had started the attack Cpl. Turner assisted in organizing a platoon consisting of the battalion scouts, runners, and a detachment of Signal Corps. As second in command of this platoon he fearlessly led them forward through heavy enemy fire, continually encouraging the men. Later he encountered deadly machinegun fire which reduced the strength of his command to but 4 men, and these were obliged to take shelter. The enemy machinegun emplacement, 25 yards distant, kept up a continual fire from 4 machineguns. After the fire had shifted momentarily, Cpl. Turner rushed forward with fixed bayonet and charged the position alone capturing the strong point with a complement of 50 Germans and 1 machineguns. His remarkable display of courage and fearlessness was instrumental in destroying the strong point, the fire from which had blocked the advance of his company.

Medal of Honor was given posthumously. TURNER, WILLIAM B.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army 105th Infantry, 27th Division. Place and date: Near Ronssoy, France, 27 September 1918. Entered service at: Garden City, N.Y. Birth: Boston, Mass. G.O. No.: 81, W.D., 1919.

Citation... He led a small group of men to the attack, under terrific artillery and machinegun fire, after they had become separated from the rest of the company in the darkness. Single-handed he rushed an enemy machinegun which had suddenly opened fire on his group and killed the crew with his pistol. He then pressed forward to another machinegun post 25 yards away and had killed 1 gunner himself by the time the remainder of his detachment arrived and put the gun out of action. With the utmost bravery he continued to lead his men over 3 lines of hostile trenches, cleaning up each one as they advanced, regardless of the fact that he had been wounded 3 times, and killed several of the enemy in hand-to-hand encounters. After his pistol ammunition was exhausted, this gallant officer seized the rifle of a dead soldier, bayoneted several members of a machinegun crew, and shot the other. Upon reaching the fourth-line trench, which was his objective, 1st Lt. Turner captured it with the 9 men remaining in his group and resisted a hostile counterattack until he was finally surrounded and killed.

UPTON, FRANK MONROE

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 29 April 1896, Loveland, Colo. Accredited to: Colorado. G.O. No.: 403, 1918.

Citation... For extraordinary heroism following internal explosion of the Florence H, on 17 April 1918. The sea in the vicinity of wreckage was covered by a mass of boxes of smokeless powder, which were repeatedly exploding. Frank M. Upton, of the U.S.S. Stewart, plunged overboard to rescue a survivor who was surrounded by powder boxes and too exhausted to help himself. Fully realizing the danger from continual explosion of similar powder boxes in the vicinity, he risked his life to save the life of this man.

VALENTE, MICHAEL

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 107th Infantry, 27th Division. Place and date: East of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Ogdensburg N.Y. Born: 5 February 1895, Cassino, Italy. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., i929.

Citation... For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy during the operations against the Hindenburg line, east of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Finding the advance of his organization held up by a withering enemy machinegun fire, Pvt. Valente volunteered to go forward. With utter disregard of his own personal danger, accompanied by another soldier, Pvt. Valente rushed forward through an intense machinegun fire directly upon the enemy nest, killing 2 and capturing 5 of the enemy and silencing the gun. Discovering another machinegun nest close by which was pouring a deadly fire on the American forces, preventing their advance, Pvt. Valente and his companion charged upon this strong point, killing the gunner and putting this machinegun out of action. Without hesitation they jumped into the enemy's trench, killed 2 and captured 16 German soldiers. Pvt. Valente was later wounded and sent to the rear.

VAN IERSEL, LUDOVICUS M. M.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 9th Infantry, 2d Division. Place and date: At Mouzon, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: Glen Rock, N.J. Birth: Holland. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation... While a member of the reconnaissance patrol, sent out at night to ascertain the condition of a damaged bridge, Sgt. Van Iersel volunteered to lead a party across the bridge in the face of heavy machinegun and rifle fire from a range of only 75 yards. Crawling alone along the debris of the ruined bridge he came upon a trap, which gave away and precipitated him into the water. In spite of the swift current he succeeded in swimming across the stream and found a lodging place among the timbers on the opposite bank. Disregarding the enemy fire, he made a careful investigation of the hostile position by which the bridge was defended and then returned to the other bank of the river, reporting this valuable information to the battalion commander.

VILLEPIGUE, JOHN C.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: At Vaux-Andigny, France, 15 October 1918. Entered service at. Camden, S.C. Born: 29 March 1896, Camden, S.C. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation... Having been sent out with 2 other soldiers to scout through the village of Vaux-Andigny, he met with strong resistance from enemy machinegun fire, which killed 1 of his men and wounded the other. Continuing his advance without aid 500 yards in advance of his platoon and in the face of machinegun and artillery fire he encountered 4 of the enemy in a dugout, whom he attacked and killed with a handgrenade. Crawling forward to a point 150 yards in advance of his first encounter, he rushed a machinegun nest, killing 4 and capturing 6 of the enemy and taking 2 light machineguns. After being joined by his platoon he was severely wounded in the arm.

WAALER, REIDAR

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 105th Machine-Gun Battalion, 27th Division. Place and date: Near Ronssoy, France, 27 September 1918. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Norway. G.O. No.. 5, W.D., 1920.

Citation... In the face of heavy artillery and machinegun fire, he crawled forward to a burning British tank, in which some of the crew were imprisoned, and succeeded in rescuing 2 men. Although the tank was then burning fiercely and contained ammunition which was likely to explode at any time, this soldier immediately returned to the tank and, entering it, made a search for the other occupants, remaining until he satisfied himself that there were no more living men in the tank.

WARD, CALVIN JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Estrees, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Morristown, Tenn. Born: October 1898, Green County, Tenn. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation... During an advance, Pvt. Ward's company was held up by a machinegun, which was enfilading the line. Accompanied by a noncommissioned officer, he advanced against this post and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing 3 and capturing 7 of the enemy and their guns.

WEST, CHESTER H.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 363d Infantry, 91st Division. Place and date: Near Bois-de-Cheppy, France, 26 September 1918. Entered service at: Los Banos, Calif. Birth: Fort Collins, Colo. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation... While making his way through a thick fog with his automatic rifle section, his advance was halted by direct and unusual machinegun fire from 2 guns. Without aid, he at once dashed through the fire and, attacking the nest, killed 2 of the gunners, 1 of whom was an officer. This prompt and decisive hand-to-hand encounter on his part enabled his company to advance farther without the loss of a man.

WHITTLESEY, CHARLES W.

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 308th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: Northeast of Binarville, in the forest of Argonne France, 2-7 October 1918. Entered service at: Pittsfield, Mass. Birth. Florence, Wis. G.O. No.: 118, W.D., 1918.

Citation... Although cut off for 5 days from the remainder of his division, Maj. Whittlesey maintained his position, which he had reached under orders received for an advance, and held his command, consisting originally of 46 officers and men of the 308th Infantry and of Company K of the 307th Infantry, together in the face of superior numbers of the enemy during the 5 days. Maj. Whittlesey and his command were thus cut off, and no rations or other supplies reached him, in spite of determined efforts which were made by his division. On the 4th day Maj. Whittlesey received from the enemy a written proposition to surrender, which he treated with contempt, although he was at the time out of rations and had suffered a loss of about 50 percent in killed and wounded of his command and was surrounded by the enemy.

Medal of Honor was given posthumously. WICKERSHAM, J. HUNTER

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 353d Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date. Near Limey, France, 12 September 1918. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation... Advancing with his platoon during the St. Mihiel offensive, he was severely wounded in 4 places by the bursting of a high-explosive shell. Before receiving any aid for himself he dressed the wounds of his orderly, who was wounded at the same time. He then ordered and accompanied the further advance of his platoon, although weakened by the loss of blood. His right hand and arm being disabled by wounds, he continued to fire his revolver with his left hand until, exhausted by loss of blood, he fell and died from his wounds before aid could be administered.

Medal of Honor was given posthumously. WOLD, NELS

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 138th Infantry, 35th Division. Place and date: Near Cheppy, France, 26 September 1918. Entered service at: Minnewaukan, N. Dak. Birth: Winger, Minn. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation... He rendered most gallant service in aiding the advance of his company, which had been held up by machinegun nests, advancing, with 1 other soldier, and silencing the guns, bringing with him, upon his return, 11 prisoners. Later the same day he jumped from a trench and rescued a comrade who was about to be shot by a German officer, killing the officer during the exploit. His actions were entirely voluntary, and it was while attempting to rush a 5th machinegun nest that he was killed. The advance of his company was mainly due to his great courage and devotion to duty.

WOODFILL, SAMUEL

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 60th Infantry, 5th Division. Place and date: At Cunel, France, 12 October 1918. Entered service at: Bryantsburg, Ind. Birth: Jefferson County, Ind. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation... While he was leading his company against the enemy, his line came under heavy machinegun fire, which threatened to hold up the advance. Followed by 2 soldiers at 25 yards, this officer went out ahead of his first line toward a machinegun nest and worked his way around its flank, leaving the 2 soldiers in front. When he got within 10 yards of the gun it ceased firing, and 4 of the enemy appeared, 3 of whom were shot by 1st Lt. Woodfill. The fourth, an officer, rushed at 1st Lt. Woodfill, who attempted to club the officer with his rifle. After a hand-to-hand struggle, 1st Lt. Woodfill killed the officer with his pistol. His company thereupon continued to advance, until shortly afterwards another machinegun nest was encountered. Calling on his men to follow, 1st Lt. Woodfill rushed ahead of his line in the face of heavy fire from the nest, and when several of the enemy appeared above the nest he shot them, capturing 3 other members of the crew and silencing the gun. A few minutes later this officer for the third time demonstrated conspicuous daring by charging another machinegun position, killing 5 men in one machinegun pit with his rifle. He then drew his revolver and started to jump into the pit, when 2 other gunners only a few yards away turned their gun on him. Failing to kill them with his revolver, he grabbed a pick lying nearby and killed both of them. Inspired by the exceptional courage displayed by this officer, his men pressed on to their objective under severe shell and machinegun fire.

World War I Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Alvin C. YorkYORK, ALVIN C. (Most decorated in World War I)

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division. Place and date: Near Chatel-Chehery, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Pall Mall, Tenn. Born: 13 December 1887, Fentress County, Tenn. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919.

Citation... After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machinegun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.

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