We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


Johnson approved by SecDef for Medal of Honor
27 August 2014, 19:03
Filed under: WWI | Tags: ,

As I noted last May, Henry Lincoln Johnson was eventually awarded the DSC, posthumously, for his actions in WWI. Now, the Secretary of Defense has recommended that Johnson be awarded the Medal of Honor.

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Henry Lincoln Johnson, DSC WWI

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First session of Colmar seminar

Last night, the seminar began in earnest. General Sullivan opened the seminar by talking about the “world-class soldiers” who fought in the battle, American and French, citing specific Medals of Honor awarded. This same spirit can be seen in the Army through Korea, Vietnam and today. He specifically mentioned SFC Paul R. Smith of the 3rd Infantry Division, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 4 April 2003 in Iraq that recalls Audie Murphy’s action in WWII.

en Francais:

La nuit dernière, la conférence a commencé dans sérieux. Le Général Sullivan a ouvert la conférence en parlant « des soldats world-class » qui combattu dans la bataille, américain et français, citant les médailles de l’honneur spécifiques a attribué. Cet même esprit peut être vu dans l’armée par la Corée, Vietnam et aujourd’hui. Il a spécifiquement mentionné SFC Paul R. Smith de la 3ème Division d’infanterie, qui a été attribuée la médaille de l’honneur pour l’action le 4 avril 2003 en Irak qui rappelle l’action d’Audie Murphy dans WWII.



Weekend Wanderings, 28 years after Beirut

28 years ago today, we had Marines deployed with weapons they could not use, with a barracks that was indefensible, in a location where it was bound to be attacked.

  • Over at One Marine’s View, we are reminded of those brave men, including comments by a Marine whose time was too short to go on that deployment. Semper Fi, Marines.
  • Thankfully, on 28 April 2008, in Ramadi, two Marines were properly armed and prevented a similar tragedy. I’ve linked to the story before, but since it is such a contrast with Beirut and my good friend, Alex Apple, was but 100 yards away, let me re-link: Commander Salamander had posted a speech and video of General Kelly’s speech on the two Navy Crosses awarded to LCPL Jordan Haerter and CPL Jonathan Yale. He linked to his source at American Thinker, who had written about it back in March of 2009 as well.
  • Paul Woodadge, who gives excellent tours in Normandy, passed along a great story of two veterans from the UK who reunited 67 years later, both assuming the other hadn’t survived.
  • The Congressional Medal of Honor Society met in Lousiville, Kentucky this year and Norman Fulkerson wrote a good article about it. (Thanks to Monika for passing it along!)


T5 Robert Dale Maxwell, MOH

Technician Fifth Grade Robert Dale Maxwell was a “wireman” for the 7th Infantry Regiment in the 3rd Infantry Division in World War II. Outside of Besancon, France, Maxwell and a few other wire men*, armed with only their .45 caliber pistols were defending Colonel Ramsey’s battalion command post against a German attack.

Maxwell trained as a machinegunner, so, naturally, when he arrived at the 3rd Infantry Division, he was placed in a role as a communications wire man. Well, it was probably a good thing that the Army assigned Maxwell to a task other than he’d trained for because it put him in position to save the lives of COL Ramsey and several other men in the battalion command post.

On the evening of 7 September 1944, a number of Germans attacked Ramsey’s command post. Maxwell remembers firing his pistol at muzzle flashes in the tree line, as the enemy was closing range. When the enemy had gotten to about 15 yards away, a grenade landed on Maxwell’s side of the wall. Thinking like SFC Petry did in Afghanistan, Maxwell tried to find the grenade on the ground to toss it back. Since he couldn’t find it right away, he covered it with a blanket and his own body. His foot was badly mangled, some shrapnel hit him in the arm and deflected to his head, and somehow, he got tangled up in a bicycle. His platoon leader helped him to his feet and they made their way back to the battalion aid station, getting knocked down together by another grenade blast.

When they met again 66 years and nine days later, Ramsey finally got to thank him. CPT M0nika Stoy had convinced Maxwell to attend the reunion of the 3rd Infantry Division by telling him that General Ramsey would be there. She’d convinced Ramsey to attend because Maxwell would be there. Unfortunately, the General was ill that day, but CPT Stoy was not deterred. She loaded Maxwell, the mayors of Salzburg, Austria and of Ammerschwir, France and others into vehicles early in the morning, drove them down to Roanoke, Virginia and made the reunion a reality.

After the Operation Dragoon event this year, we were able to have dinner at the Stoy’s house with Mr. Maxwell and some others. He was a real pleasure to spend time with and was headed to France the next day to participate in a number of Liberation celebrations along the route of the 3rd ID. After Maxwell was wounded, the Division captured Berchesgarden** and is planning on visiting there for the first time next year to commemorate that event as well.

It was really an honor to meet Maxwell, and I encourage everyone to consider attending our future events. Next year’s event has already been scheduled for 2-5 August 2012.

*My recollection is that Maxwell said he was aided by James Joyce (whose name stuck in my head) and one other soldier in defense of the command post, but MSNBC states that it was 3 other soldiers.

**There is much controversy over who captured Berchesgarden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, with the both 3rd ID, 101st ABD and the French claiming to have captured it.



Weekend Wanderings, 24 July 2011

This past week marked a momentous occasion for this blog. It exceeded last year’s hits – 1650. However, since most of last year’s hits were all due to one post that was linked on Ace of Spades, it was basically just luck (and being friendly to the right people!) So, this year’s numbers (slightly over 10 hits a day most of the time) feel much more earned.



Songs for a Hero

Lucas Peerman, who is Leroy Petry’s cousin and the digital editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, had written one of the articles I’d used in researching for my blog entry on SFC Petry. He has also been blogging about the experience on his own blog, A Week in Washington. When Miguel Estrada posted on comment on my blog entry that he had some songs he’d like to give to SFC Petry on a CD, I passed along his contact information to Lucas. Lucas contacted Miguel and, if you read Lucas’s blog entry, you can learn a bit about Migeul and download his songs. It’s a great tribute to our troops by a patriot who adopted this land, just as all of our own ancestors did over the years.

If you’ve seen “Taking Chance“, with Kevin Bacon, I think you’ll find that though Lucas has several marvelous entries in his blog, but tops on the list must be the story of a Marine who felt honored just to share a beer with Leroy.




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