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Remembered Today:

American who received British Military Cross


jagjetta
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Greetings,

In my collection, I have the uniform of Lt. Richard Averill Parke, who commanded a tank in Co. C, 301st Heavy Tank Bn. Parke was wounded on Sept. 29, 1918.

His uniform has a three-place ribbon bar for the Purple Heart, Victory with one star and the British Military Cross. My question is this: Is it possible to locate the citation for the Military Cross?

Thank you for any advice,

John A-G

Jackson, Missouri USA

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I can't answer your question I'm afraid John ... but I came across this telling about what happened that day .... and thought I would post !

This is a snippet from the diary of George Noble Irwin, Company C, 301st Battery, Heavy Tank Corps, Decatur County Indiana

During the next two months, the 301st had four engagements against the Germans, with varying degrees of success. The first, against the vaunted Hindenburg Line near Le Catalet and St Quentin, on 29 Sept. Each Company of the 301st (A, B, & C) was assigned to lead one of the 27th Division's regiments (107th, 105th, & 108th). The simple scheme was to precede the infantry by about a hundred yards to clear wire obstacles, and destroy the German machine gun nests, and artillery emplacements. Dad's Company C with 15 tanks, was attached to the 107th infantry on the left, but due to the regimental commander's refusal to leave on the new H hour (an hour earlier than the old H hour), and lack of prior training between the Doughboys and tanks, the tanks were 1,000 yards in front of the regiment. They encountered withering fire from German guns, and heavy smoke and fog. The visibility was so bad that the tank commanders had to dismount, and walk in front of the tanks in the dark through the mud, wire entanglements, abandoned trenches, and shell holes, to guide their tanks. Both the 301st and 27th received frightful casualties. Sixteen tanks received direct hits, and only five of the original 40 tanks reached the Hindenburg Line, and none of them could get through those wide trenches. It's estimated that the 107th lost 1,000 men. The 301st lost 3 officers, and 17 enlisted men. Fifteen officers, and 70 enlisted men were wounded, and seven enlisted men were missing. An ominous beginning.

http://www.wwvets.com/WW1_Tanks.asp

Annie :)

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I can't answer your question I'm afraid John ... but I came across this telling about what happened that day .... and thought I would post !

This is a snippet from the diary of George Noble Irwin, Company C, 301st Battery, Heavy Tank Corps, Decatur County Indiana

http://www.wwvets.com/WW1_Tanks.asp

Annie :)

Annie:

A great big hug for you! That is a great 301st account with which I was not previously familiar! Wonderful material! Thank you SO much for posting it!

John

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I'm glad you're pleased !!!! :D

But I'm coming up with a problem ... the Purple Heart was established in 1932 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington and so he didn't get it in WW1 ... and I haven't found him on the database for WW2 yet .... I'm still looking !!

Annie :)

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You're right Pete ! ... I just read that ! President Harry S. Truman also retroactively extended eligibility to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to April 5 1917 to cover World War I.

Still can't find him though ! -_-

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Here is what I think is his picture from his 1921 passport application (which contains some notes as to his WWI service).

His WWI and WWII draft registrations are also available on ancestry, he was from NY.

post-14525-1256520987.jpg

Chris

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  • 3 weeks later...
Here is what I think is his picture from his 1921 passport application (which contains some notes as to his WWI service).

His WWI and WWII draft registrations are also available on ancestry, he was from NY.

post-14525-1256520987.jpg

Chris

Hi Chris,

Yes, that is indeed him. I was able to access the same photo through Ancestry.com. Still hunting, though, for some sort of verification of his British Military Cross.

Thank you for hunting!

John

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In the book Tank Corps Honours & Awards 1916-1919 there are a few MC awards to American's who were with the 301st Tank Batt.

It lists the actual reason for the gallantry of each MC - the officers are: -

Lt T C Neadle 28/09/1918

2nd Lt E Kusener 29/09/1918

2nd Lt E P Frost 29/09/1918

2nd Lt E Dunning 29/09/1918

If you want to know the individual reasons for each award let me know

Simon

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I went through all the states that had soldiers who were awarded medals ( now I need glasses !! :rolleyes: ) ..... nothing for your man in NY - and this isn't him ... but thought you might find this interesting .... for the same day

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS.

John R. Webb, second lieutenant, 301st Battalion, Tank Corps. For extraordinary heroism in action near Bellicourt, France, September 29, 1918. While his crew was engaged in digging out the tank, which had become ditched in a shell hole in front of the main Hindenburg line, an enemy machine gun opened fire on them at a distance of 30 yards. Being unable to use his guns on account of his position, Lieut. Webb crawled forward to the machine gun and killed the enemy gunners with his pistol. His act enabled the men to free the tank, which subsequently aided the advancing infantry.

Residence at appointment - 242 North Walnut Street, Riverside, Calif.

Annie :)

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  • 1 month later...
I went through all the states that had soldiers who were awarded medals ( now I need glasses !! :rolleyes: ) ..... nothing for your man in NY - and this isn't him ... but thought you might find this interesting .... for the same day

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS.

John R. Webb, second lieutenant, 301st Battalion, Tank Corps. For extraordinary heroism in action near Bellicourt, France, September 29, 1918. While his crew was engaged in digging out the tank, which had become ditched in a shell hole in front of the main Hindenburg line, an enemy machine gun opened fire on them at a distance of 30 yards. Being unable to use his guns on account of his position, Lieut. Webb crawled forward to the machine gun and killed the enemy gunners with his pistol. His act enabled the men to free the tank, which subsequently aided the advancing infantry.

Residence at appointment - 242 North Walnut Street, Riverside, Calif.

Annie :)

Thank you Annie! Yes, Lt. Webb's exploits are incredible. I know the fellow who owns Lt. Webb's medal. I have the Lieutenant's overseas cap in my collection.

John

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In the book Tank Corps Honours & Awards 1916-1919 there are a few MC awards to American's who were with the 301st Tank Batt.

It lists the actual reason for the gallantry of each MC - the officers are: -

Lt T C Neadle 28/09/1918

2nd Lt E Kusener 29/09/1918

2nd Lt E P Frost 29/09/1918

2nd Lt E Dunning 29/09/1918

If you want to know the individual reasons for each award let me know

Simon

Your list misses Major Ralph Sasse AEF awarded the MC for an action at Brancourt on Oct 8th 1918. Sasse was doing a recon in a Mk V* equipped with wireless and encountered a German counter attack on the village, he left his tank to see what was happening, returned to the tank and sent a warning message to HQ, then leaving the tank again returned to the village where all officers had been killed or wounded, rallied the defenders and repulsed 3 attacks until the reinforcements summoned by his message arrived. He then continued his recon in the tank.

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  • 2 months later...

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