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Clayton K. Slack
Clayton Slack
Born (1896-02-23)February 23, 1896
Died March 1, 1976(1976-03-01) (aged 80)
Place of birth Plover, Wisconsin
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Private
Unit Company D, 124th Machine Gun Battalion, 33d Division
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor
Silver Star
Purple Heart

Clayton Kirk Slack (February 23, 1896 – March 1, 1976) was a soldier in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Slack was born in Plover, Wisconsin on February 23, 1896.[1] Clayton Slack joined the United States Army from Madison, Wisconsin in September 1917,[2] and as a Private he was cited for single-handedly clearing out a German machine gun nest resulting in 10 prisoners and the capture of 2 machine-guns on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the biggest battle of World War I involving American troops.[1]

Slack noticed several German troops and charged at them with his rifle and bayonet telling them to "put their hands up".[1] The German soldiers thinking that he was at the lead of a patrol, surrendered. Slacks actions were credited with saving his unit heavy casualties.[1]

After the war Slack toured the United States with war films and by the time of his death had met six presidents. In 1963 president John F Kennedy hosted a reunion of Medal of Honor recipients at the White House for the 100th anniversary of the first presentation of the Medal.[1] Slack attended the function along with a number of other Medal of Honor recipients.[1]

He died March 1, 1976 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia.[1] His grave can be found in section 34, lot 59.[1]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 124th Machine Gun Battalion, 33d Division. Place and date: Near Consenvoye, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Madison, Wis. Born: 23 February 1896, Plover, Wis. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation:

Observing German soldiers under cover 50 yards away on the left flank, Pvt. Slack, upon his own initiative, rushed them with his rifle and, single-handed, captured 10 prisoners and 2 heavy-type machineguns, thus saving his company and neighboring organizations from heavy casualties.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

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