Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 6 October

 
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BleckleySecond Lieutenant Erwin Bleckly, Kansas Army National Guard - posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions on this day in 1918. Interesting bit of trivia for you - how many Medals of Honor do you think were presented by President Clinton, he who was cursed by "not having been tested" except by the endgame in Somalia?  Yes, he did present the awards for Shughart and Gordon for the Battle of Mogadishu.  He also presented 35 others, for a total of 37.   What really drove President Clinton's numbers up was 22 award upgrades authorized for Asian-Americans believed to have been slighted during WWII.  By contrast, the WWII Commander-in-Chief, FDR, only presented 31. This is a relatively quiet day for the Medal.  4 awards total, one earned out here in Kansas during the Civil War, and three earned in during the Argonne Forest campaign of WWI.         During the Civil War, which was rather uncivil out this way, Quantrill smacks around some Yankees, but a young Cavalry Lieutenant kicks Quantrill's men in the delicates with all the tools available.
POND, JAMES B.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company C, 3d Wisconsin Cavalry. Place and date: At Baxter Springs, Kans., 6 October 1863. Entered service at: Janesville, Rock County, Wis. Birth: Allegany, N.Y. Date of issue: 30 March 1898. Citation: While in command of 2 companies of Cavalry, was surprised and attacked by several times his own number of guerrillas, but gallantly rallied his men, and after a severe struggle drove the enemy outside the fortifications. 1st Lt. Pond then went outside the works and, alone and unaided, fired a howitzer 3 times, throwing the enemy into confusion and causing him to retire.  
WWI, and we're into the second week of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.  Our first two awardees earned their Medals together, the hard way.
*BLECKLEY, ERWIN R. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 130th Field Artillery, observer 50th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Place and date. Near Binarville, France, 6 October 1918. Entered service at: Wichita, Kans. Birth: Wichita, Kans. G.O. No.: 56, W.D., 1922. Citation: 2d Lt. Bleckley, with his pilot, 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler, Air Service, left the airdrome late in the afternoon on their second trip to drop supplies to a battalion of the 77th Division, which had been cut off by the enemy in the Argonne Forest. Having been subjected on the first trip to violent fire from the enemy, they attempted on the second trip to come still lower in order to get the packages even more precisely on the designated spot. In the course of his mission the plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machinegun fire from the ground, resulting in fatal wounds to 2d Lt. Bleckley, who died before he could be taken to a hospital. In attempting and performing this mission 2d Lt. Bleckley showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage, and valor. *GOETTLER, HAROLD ERNEST (Air Mission) Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, pilot, U.S. Army Air Corps, 50th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Place and date: Near Binarville, France, 6 October 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 21 July 1890, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 56, W.D., 1922. Citation: 1st. Lt. Goettler, with his observer, 2d Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley, 130th Field Artillery, left the airdrome late in the afternoon on their second trip to drop supplies to a battalion of the 77th Division which had been cut off by the enemy in the Argonne Forest. Having been subjected on the first trip to violent fire from the enemy, they attempted on the second trip to come still lower in order to get the packages even more precisely on the designated spot. In the course of this mission the plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machinegun fire from the ground, resulting in the instant death of 1st. Lt. Goettler. In attempting and performing this mission 1st. Lt. Goettler showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage and valor. PECK, ARCHIE A. Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 307th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: In the Argonne Forest, France, 6 October 1918. Entered service at: Hornell, N.Y. Birth: Tyrone, N.Y. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919. Citation: While engaged with 2 other soldiers on patrol duty, he and his comrades were subjected to the direct fire of an enemy machinegun, at which time both his companions were wounded. Returning to his company, he obtained another soldier to accompany him to assist in bringing in the wounded men. His assistant was killed in the exploit, but he continued on, twice returning safely bringing in both men, being under terrific machinegun fire during the entire Journey.
*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.