Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 15 October

 
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donovan_wwi_285LTC "Wild Bill" Donovan - Holder of the Medal of Honor, founder of the OSS. There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day in our military history.  One during the Civil War, three during WWI, including a very distant relative of mine, and one each during Korea and Vietnam.                 Civil War
BATCHELDER, RICHARD N.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Quartermaster, 2d Corps. Place and date: Between Catlett and Fairfax Stations, Va., 13-15 October 1863. Entered service at: Manchester, N.H. Born: 27 July 1832, Meredith, N.H. Date of issue: 20 May 1895. Citation: Being ordered to move his trains by a continuous day-and-night march, and without the usual military escort, armed his teamsters and personally commanded them, successfully fighting against heavy odds and bringing his trains through without the loss of a wagon.
WWI.  This is the day that "Wild Bill" Donovan earned his Medal.  I had great fun in college with my family history.  I am distantly related to Meriwether Lewis and General Donovan - so I would tell the earnestly PC students I lived among that my family was responsible for enabling the opening of the West and the rape of the land and natives, and helped create the CIA.  And I was proud of it.  I did discover that being a relative (this far downstream, there are thousands of us) of Meriwether Lewis was worth exactly squat when the 200th anniversary was observed in these parts (Lewis camped here at Leavenworth as the Corps of Discovery wended their way upriver).  All as it should be, of course. 
DONOVAN, WILLIAM JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and date: Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, 14-15 October 1918. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Born: 1 January 1883, Buffalo, N.Y. G.O., No.: 56, W.D., 1922. Citation: Lt. Col. Donovan personally led the assaulting wave in an attack upon a very strongly organized position, and when our troops were suffering heavy casualties he encouraged all near him by his example, moving among his men in exposed positions, reorganizing decimated platoons, and accompanying them forward in attacks. When he was wounded in the leg by machine-gun bullets, he refused to be evacuated and continued with his unit until it withdrew to a less exposed position. *INGRAM, OSMOND K. Rank and organization: Gunner's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 4 August 1887, Alabama. Accredited to. Alabama. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the presence of the enemy on the occasion of the torpedoing of the Cassin, on 15 October 1917. While the Cassin was searching for the submarine, Ingram sighted the torpedo coming, and realizing that it might strike the ship aft in the vicinity of the depth charges, ran aft with the intention of releasing the depth charges before the torpedo could reach the Cassin. The torpedo struck the ship before he could accomplish his purpose and Ingram was killed by the explosion. The depth charges exploded immediately afterward. His life was sacrificed in an attempt to save the ship and his shipmates, as the damage to the ship would have been much less if he had been able to release the depth charges. 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.
Korea, and one tough Private First Class, who, unlike John Wayne in the movies, actually cradled a hot machine gun in his arms and conducted a walking assault, and then, when he ran out of ammuniton, employed his Club, Browning, M1919A4 and continued administering a beat down.
*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 machine gun 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 machine gun 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, and one very tough gun dog.
ANDERSON, WEBSTER
Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Battery A, 2d Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Infantry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam, 15 October 1967. Entered service at: Winnsboro, S.C. Born: 15 July 1933, Winnsboro, S.C. Citation: SFC Anderson (then S/Sgt.), distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as chief of section in Battery A, against a hostile force. During the early morning hours Battery A's defensive position was attacked by a determined North Vietnamese Army infantry unit supported by heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, rocket propelled grenade and automatic weapon fire. The initial enemy onslaught breached the battery defensive perimeter. SFC Anderson, with complete disregard for his personal safety, mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer position and became the mainstay of the defense of the battery position. SFC Anderson directed devastating direct howitzer fire on the assaulting enemy while providing rifle and grenade defensive fire against enemy soldiers attempting to overrun his gun section position. While protecting his crew and directing their fire against the enemy from his exposed position, 2 enemy grenades exploded at his feet knocking him down and severely wounding him in the legs. Despite the excruciating pain and though not able to stand, SFC Anderson valorously propped himself on the parapet and continued to direct howitzer fire upon the closing enemy and to encourage his men to fight on. Seeing an enemy grenade land within the gun pit near a wounded member of his gun crew, SFC Anderson, heedless of his own safety, seized the grenade and attempted to throw it over the parapet to save his men. As the grenade was thrown from the position it exploded and SFC Anderson was again grievously wounded. Although only partially conscious and severely wounded, SFC Anderson refused medical evacuation and continued to encourage his men in the defense of the position. SFC Anderson by his inspirational leadership, professionalism, devotion to duty and complete disregard for his welfare was able to maintain the defense of his section position and to defeat a determined attack. SFC Anderson's gallantry and extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
*Asterisk indicates 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.