World War I
"The Great War"
Medal of Honor
Awarded South Carolinians
"For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity in Action At the Risk of Life Above and
Beyond the Call of Duty"
DOZIER, JAMES C.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company G, 118th
Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Montbrehain, France, 8 October
1918. Entered service at: Rock Hill, S.C. Born: 17 February 1885, Galivants
Ferry, (N.C.?) G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.
Citation: In command of 2 platoons,
1st. Lt. Dozier was painfully wounded in the shoulder early in the attack,
but he continued to lead his men displaying the highest bravery and skill.
When his command was held up by heavy machinegun fire, he disposed his
men in the best cover available and with a soldier continued forward to
attack a machinegun nest. Creeping up to the position in the face of intense
fire, he killed the entire crew with handgrenades and his pistol and a
little later captured a number of Germans who had taken refuge in a dugout
FOSTER, GARY EVANS
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 118th Infantry,
30th Division. Place and date: Near Montbrehain, France, 8 October 1918.
Entered service at: Inman, S.C. Birth: Spartanburg, S.C. G.O. No.: 16,
Citation: When his company was held up by violent machinegun
fire from a sunken road, Sgt. Foster with an officer went forward to attack
the hostile machinegun nests. The officer was wounded, but Sgt. Foster
continued on alone in the face of the heavy fire and by effective use of
handgrenades and his pistol killed several of the enemy and captured 18.
HALL, THOMAS LEE
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company G, 118th Infantry,
30th Division. Place and date. Near Montbrehain, France, 8 October 1918.
Entered service at: Fort Mill, S.C. Birth: Fort Mill, S.C., G.O. No.: 50,
Citation: Having overcome 2 machinegun nests under his skillful
leadership, Sgt. Hall's platoon was stopped 800 yards from its final objective
by machinegun fire of particular intensity. Ordering his men to take cover
in a sunken road, he advanced alone on the enemy machinegun post and killed
5 members of the crew with his bayonet and thereby made possible the further
advance of the line. While attacking another machinegun nest later in the
day this gallant soldier was mortally wounded.
HERIOT, JAMES D.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company I, 118th Infantry,
30th Division. Place and date: At Vaux-Andigny, France, 12 October 1918.
Entered service at: Providence, S.C. Birth: Providence, S.C. G.O. No.:
13, W.D., 1919.
Citation: Cpl. Heriot, with 4 other soldiers, organized
a combat group and attacked an enemy machine-gun nest which had been inflicting
heavy casualties on his company. In the advance 2 of his men were killed,
and because of the heavy fire from all sides the remaining 2 sought shelter.
Unmindful of the hazard attached to his mission, Cpl. Heriot, with fixed
bayonet, alone charged the machinegun, making his way through the fire
for a distance of 30 yards and forcing the enemy to surrender. During this
exploit he received several wounds in the arm, and later in the same day,
while charging another nest, he was killed.
HILTON, RICHMOND H.
Born in 1898 just 6 months after Richmond Hobson's heroic actions during the
Spanish-American war, RICHMOND HOBSON HILTON received the Medal of Honor during World War I,
the only namesake of a Medal of Honor hero to also receive the Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 118th Infantry,
30th Division. Place and date: At Brancourt, France, 11 October 1918. Entered
service at: Westville, S.C. Born: 8 October 1898, Westville, S.C. G.O.
No.: 16, W.D., 1919.
Citation: While Sgt. Hilton's company was advancing
through the village of Brancourt it was held up by intense enfilading fire
from a machinegun. Discovering that this fire came from a machinegun nest
among shell holes at the edge of the town, Sgt. Hilton, accompanied by
a few other soldiers, but well in advance of them, pressed on toward this
position, firing with his rifle until his ammunition was exhausted, and
then with his pistol, killing 6 of the enemy and capturing 10. In the course
of this daring exploit he received a wound from a bursting shell, which
resulted in the loss of his arm.
No Medals of Honor were awarded to Black soldiers for heroism in World War I.
This was finally corrected in 1991 when President George Bush presented a posthumous award to
the sisters of South Carolina's Freddie Stowers.
Corporal Stowers, a native of Anderson County, South Carolina, distinguished
himself by exceptional heroism on 28 September 1918, while serving as a
squad leader in Company C, 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division.
His company was the lead company during the attack on Hill 188, Champagne
Marne Sector, France, during World War I. A few minutes after the attack
began, the enemy ceased firing and began climbing up onto the parapets
of the trenches, holding up their arms as if wishing to surrender. The
enemy's actions caused the American forces to cease fire and to come out
into the open. As the company started forward and when within about 100
meters of the trench line, the enemy jumped back into their trenches and
greeted Corporal Stowers' company with interlocking bands of machine gun
fire and mortar fire causing well over fifty percent casualties. Faced
with incredible enemy resistance, Corporal Stowers took charge, setting
such a courageous example of personal bravery and leadership that he inspired
his men to follow him in the attack. With extraordinary heroism and complete
disregard of personal danger under devastating fire, he crawled forward
leading his squad toward an enemy machine gun nest, which was causing heavy
casualties to his company. After fierce fighting, the machine gun position
was destroyed and the enemy soldiers were killed. Displaying great courage
and intrepidity, Corporal Stowers continued to press the attack against
a determined enemy. While crawling forward and urging his men to continue
the attack on a second trench line, he was gravely wounded by machine gun
fire. Although, Corporal Stowers was mortally wounded, he pressed forward,
urging on the members of his squad, until he died. Inspired by the heroism
and display of bravery of Corporal Stowers, his company continued the attack
against incredible odds, contributing to the capture of Hill 188 and causing
heavy enemy casualties. Corporal Stowers' conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary
heroism and supreme devotion to his men were well above and beyond the
call of duty, follow the finest traditions of military service and reflect
the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
(The Medal of Honor was presented to Stowers' surviving sisters during
ceremonies at the White House on April 24, 1991.)
VILLEPIGUE, JOHN C.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company M, 118th Infantry,
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.
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