Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 14 October

 
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RalphTalbotLieutenant Ralph Talbot, the first Marine aviator to earn the Medal. Today's Medal count jumps up to a little over the daily average, with 12 Medals awarded for actions on this day in our military history.  Five during the Civil War, two during the Indian Campaigns, three during WWI, and one each in Korea and Vietnam.            We open during the Civil War with a Lieutenant whose award covers two fights, Chancellorsville and Auburn, and four soldiers who fought with distinction at Bristoe Station.  
SACRISTE, LOUIS J.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company D, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. At Auburn, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 15 June 1843, New Castle County, Del. Date of issue: 3I January 1889. Citation: Saved from capture a gun of the 5th Maine Battery. Voluntarily carried orders which resulted in saving from destruction or capture the picket line of the 1st Division, 2d Army Corps. CORSON, JOSEPH K. Rank and organization: Assistant Surgeon, 6th Pennsylvania Reserves (35th Pennsylvania Volunteers). Place and date: Near Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 26 November 1836, Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, Pa. Date of issue: 13 May 1899. Citation: With one companion returned in the face of the enemy's heavy artillery fire and removed to a place of safety a severely wounded soldier who had been left behind as the regiment fell back. CULLEN, THOMAS Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 82d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 22d or 28th North Carolina (C.S.A.). HANSCOM, MOSES C. Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 19th Maine Infantry. Place and date: At Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: Bowdoinham, Maine. Birth: Danville, Maine. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of the flag of 26th North Carolina (C.S.A.). URELL, M. EMMET Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 82d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 6 June 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action while detailed as color bearer; was severely wounded.
Next, the Indian Campaigns and a fight at Lyry Creek, Az.
GOODMAN, DAVID
Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Lyry Creek, Ariz., 14 October 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Paxton, Mass. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Bravery in action. RAERICK, JOHN Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Lyry Creek, Ariz., 14 October 1869. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action with Indians.  
We take a break until WWI, as the Entente continues to grind down the Germans in France and Belgium.  Marine Lieutenant Ralph Talbot holds the distinction of being the first Marine aviator to earn the Medal.  He survived the actions for which he was cited, but died in a landing accident before the Medal was awarded, which is why he's listed as a posthumous award.
DONALDSON, MICHAEL A.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 165th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and date: At Sommerance-Landres-et St. Georges Road, France, 14 October 1918. Entered service at: Haverstraw, N.Y. Born: 1884, Haverstraw, N.Y. G.O. No.: 9, W.D., 1923. Citation: The advance of his regiment having been checked by intense machinegun fire of the enemy, who were entrenched on the crest of a hill before Landres-et St. Georges, his company retired to a sunken road to reorganize their position, leaving several of their number wounded near the enemy lines. Of his own volition, in broad daylight and under direct observation of the enemy and with utter disregard for his own safety, he advanced to the crest of the hill, rescued one of his wounded comrades, and returned under withering fire to his own lines, repeating his splendidly heroic act until he had brought in all the men, 6 in number. ROBINSON, ROBERT GUY Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Marine Aviation Force Place and date: Pittham, Belgium, 14 October 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 30 April 1896, New York, N.Y. Citation: For extraordinary heroism as observer in the 1st Marine Aviation Force at the front in France. In company with planes from Squadron 218, Royal Air Force, conducting an air raid on 8 October 1918, G/Sgt. Robinson's plane was attacked by 9 enemy scouts. In the fight which followed, he shot down 1 of the enemy planes. In a later air raid over Pittham, Belgium, on 14 October 1918, his plane and 1 other became separated from their formation on account of motor trouble and were attacked by 12 enemy scouts. Acting with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in the fight which ensued, G/Sgt. Robinson, after shooting down 1 of the enemy planes, was struck by a bullet which carried away most of his elbow. At the same time his gun jammed. While his pilot maneuvered for position, he cleared the jam with one hand and returned to the fight. Although his left arm was useless, he fought off the enemy scouts until he collapsed after receiving 2 more bullet wounds, one in the stomach and one in the thigh. *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.  
We skip WWII and the Banana Wars and move to Korea for our next act of heroism.
SCHOWALTER, EDWARD R., JR.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company A, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kumhwa, Korea, 14 October 1952. Entered service at: Metairie, La. Born: 24 December 1927, New Orleans, La. G.O. No.: 6, 28 January 1954. Citation: 1st Lt. Schowalter, commanding, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Committed to attack and occupy a key-approach to the primary objective, the 1st Platoon of his company came under heavy vicious small-arms, grenade, and mortar fire within 50 yards of the enemy-held strongpoint, halting the advance and inflicting several casualties. The 2d Platoon moved up in support at this juncture, and although wounded, 1st Lt. Schowalter continued to spearhead the assault. Nearing the objective he was severely wounded by a grenade fragment but, refusing medical aid, he led his men into the trenches and began routing the enemy from the bunkers with grenades. Suddenly from a burst of fire from a hidden cove off the trench he was again wounded. Although suffering from his wounds, he refused to relinquish command and continued issuing orders and encouraging his men until the commanding ground was secured and then he was evacuated. 1st Lt. Schowalter's unflinching courage, extraordinary heroism, and inspirational leadership reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.  
And currently, todays Medals end with Vietnam, earned in the hard fighting around Con Thien, 1967.
*FOSTER, PAUL HELLSTROM
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Near Con Thien, Republic of Vietnam, 14 October 1967. Entered service at: San Francisco, Calif. Born: 17 April 1939, San Mateo, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an artillery liaison operations chief with the 2d Battalion. In the early morning hours the 2d Battalion was occupying a defensive position which protected a bridge on the road leading from Con Thien to Cam Lo. Suddenly, the marines' position came under a heavy volume of mortar and artillery fire, followed by an aggressive enemy ground assault. In the ensuing engagement, the hostile force penetrated the perimeter and brought a heavy concentration of small arms, automatic weapons, and rocket fire to bear on the battalion command post. Although his position in the fire support coordination center was dangerously exposed to enemy fire and he was wounded when an enemy hand grenade exploded near his position, Sgt. Foster resolutely continued to direct accurate mortar and artillery fire on the advancing North Vietnamese troops. As the attack continued, a hand grenade landed in the midst of Sgt. Foster and his 5 companions. Realizing the danger, he shouted a warning, threw his armored vest over the grenade, and unhesitatingly placed his body over the armored vest. When the grenade exploded, Sgt. Foster absorbed the entire blast with his body and was mortally wounded. His heroic actions undoubtedly saved his comrades from further injury or possible death. Sgt. Foster's courage, extraordinary heroism, and unfaltering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.  
*Asterisk indicates 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.