Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 18 September

 
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406px-John_DennyBuffalo Soldier Sergeant John Denny, who earned the Medal of Honor on this day in 1879.               The Medal opens this day in its history during the Indian War Campaigns, with a sharp little fight involving the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry.  
DAY, MATTHIAS W.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Las Animas Canyon, N. Mex., 18 September 1879. Entered service at: Oberlin, Ohio. Birth: Mansfield, Ohio. Date of issue: 7 May 1890. Citation: Advanced alone into the enemy's lines and carried off a wounded soldier of his command under a hot fire and after he had been ordered to retreat. DENNY, JOHN Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Las Animas Canyon, N. Mex., 18 September 1879. Entered service at: 1867 Elmira, N.Y. Birth: Big Flats, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 November 189i. Citation: Removed a wounded comrade, under a heavy fire, to a place of safety. EMMET, ROBERT TEMPLE Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Las Animas Canyon, N. Mex., 18 September 1879. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue 24 August 1899. Citation: Lt. Emmet was in G Troop which was sent to relieve a detachment of soldiers under attack by hostile Apaches During a flank attack on the Indian camp, made to divert the hostiles Lt. Emmet and 5 of his men became surrounded when the Indians returned to defend their camp. Finding that the Indians were making for a position from which they could direct their fire on the retreating troop, the Lieutenant held his point with his party until the soldiers reached the safety of a canyon. Lt. Emmet then continued to hold his position while his party recovered their horses. The enemy force consisted of approximately 200.
The Medal then takes a break until World War II, when it resurfaces with a vengeance, on 18 September 1944, in the tough fighting in Holland, as the 101st tries to take a bridge at Best during Operation Market-Garden,  then moves down in the boot of Italy, and ends up with the savage fight that was Peleliu.
JACKSON, ARTHUR J.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944. Entered service at: Oregon. Born: 18 October 1924, Cleveland Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on the Island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944. Boldly taking the initiative when his platoon's left flank advance was held up by the fire of Japanese troops concealed in strongly fortified positions, Pfc. Jackson unhesitatingly proceeded forward of our lines and, courageously defying the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing approximately 35 enemy soldiers. Pouring his automatic fire into the opening of the fixed installation to trap the occupying troops, he hurled white phosphorus grenades and explosive charges brought up by a fellow marine, demolishing the pillbox and killing all of the enemy. Advancing alone under the continuous fire from other hostile emplacements, he employed similar means to smash 2 smaller positions in the immediate vicinity. Determined to crush the entire pocket of resistance although harassed on all sides by the shattering blasts of Japanese weapons and covered only by small rifle parties, he stormed 1 gun position after another, dealing death and destruction to the savagely fighting enemy in his inexorable drive against the remaining defenses, and succeeded in wiping out a total of 12 pillboxes and 50 Japanese soldiers. Stouthearted and indomitable despite the terrific odds. Pfc. Jackson resolutely maintained control of the platoon's left flank movement throughout his valiant 1-man assault and, by his cool decision and relentless fighting spirit during a critical situation, contributed essentially to the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct in the face of extreme peril reflect the highest credit upon Pfc. Jackson and the U.S. Naval Service. JOHNSON, OSCAR G. Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 363d Infantry, 91st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Scarperia, Italy, 16-18 September 1944. Entered service at: Foster City, Mich. Birth: Foster City, Mich. G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945. Citation: (then Pfc.) He practically single-handed protected the left flank of his company's position in the offensive to break the German's "Gothic Line." Company B was the extreme left assault unit of the corps. The advance was stopped by heavy fire from Monticelli Ridge, and the company took cover behind an embankment. Sgt. Johnson, a mortar gunner, having expended his ammunition, assumed the duties of a rifleman. As leader of a squad of 7 men he was ordered to establish a combat post 50 yards to the left of the company to cover its exposed flank. Repeated enemy counterattacks, supported by artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire from the high ground to his front, had by the afternoon of 16 September killed or wounded all his men. Collecting weapons and ammunition from his fallen comrades, in the face of hostile fire, he held his exposed position and inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy, who several times came close enough to throw hand grenades. On the night of 1617 September, the enemy launched his heaviest attack on Company B, putting his greatest pressure against the lone defender of the left flank. In spite of mortar fire which crashed about him and machinegun bullets which whipped the crest of his shallow trench, Sgt. Johnson stood erect and repulsed the attack with grenades and small arms fire. He remained awake and on the alert throughout the night, frustrating all attempts at infiltration. On 17 September, 25 German soldiers surrendered to him. Two men, sent to reinforce him that afternoon, were caught in a devastating mortar and artillery barrage. With no thought of his own safety, Sgt. Johnson rushed to the shell hole where they lay half buried and seriously wounded, covered their position by his fire, and assisted a Medical Corpsman in rendering aid. That night he secured their removal to the rear and remained on watch until his company was relieved. Five companies of a German paratroop regiment had been repeatedly committed to the attack on Company B without success. Twenty dead Germans were found in front of his position. By his heroic stand and utter disregard for personal safety, Sgt. Johnson was in a large measure responsible for defeating the enemy's attempts to turn the exposed left flank. *MANN, JOE E. Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 502d Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: Best, Holland, 18 September 1944. Entered service at: Seattle, Wash. Birth: Rearden, Wash. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945. Citation: He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. On 18 September 1944, in the vicinity of Best., Holland, his platoon, attempting to seize the bridge across the Wilhelmina Canal, was surrounded and isolated by an enemy force greatly superior in personnel and firepower. Acting as lead scout, Pfc. Mann boldly crept to within rocket-launcher range of an enemy artillery position and, in the face of heavy enemy fire, destroyed an 88mm. gun and an ammunition dump. Completely disregarding the great danger involved, he remained in his exposed position, and, with his M-1 rifle, killed the enemy one by one until he was wounded 4 times. Taken to a covered position, he insisted on returning to a forward position to stand guard during the night. On the following morning the enemy launched a concerted attack and advanced to within a few yards of the position, throwing hand grenades as they approached. One of these landed within a few feet of Pfc. Mann. Unable to raise his arms, which were bandaged to his body, he yelled "grenade" and threw his body over the grenade, and as it exploded, died. His outstanding gallantry above and beyond the call of duty and his magnificent conduct were an everlasting inspiration to his comrades for whom he gave his life. *ROAN, CHARLES HOWARD Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 16 August 1923, Claude, Tex. Accredited to. Texas. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands, 18 September 1944. Shortly after his leader ordered a withdrawal upon discovering that the squad was partly cut off from their company as a result of the rapid advance along an exposed ridge during an aggressive attack on the strongly entrenched enemy, Pfc. Roan and his companions were suddenly engaged in a furious exchange of handgrenades by Japanese forces emplaced in a cave on higher ground and to the rear of the squad. Seeking protection with 4 other marines in a depression in the rocky, broken terrain, Pfc. Roan was wounded by an enemy grenade which fell close to their position and, immediately realizing the eminent peril to his comrades when another grenade landed in the midst of the group, unhesitatingly flung himself upon it, covering it with his body and absorbing the full impact of the explosion. By his prompt action and selfless conduct in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of 4 men. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.
*Asterisks indicate a posthumous award. (John Donovan is a Legionnaire with the Department of Kansas with service in the U.S. Army. He blogs at his own website The Castle Argghhh!)
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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.