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Frank Gaffney
Born (1883-12-18)December 18, 1883
Died May 25, 1948(1948-05-25) (aged 64)
Place of birth Buffalo, New York
Place of Burial United German and French Cemetery Buffalo, New York
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Private first class
Unit Company G, 108th Infantry, 27th Division
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor

Frank Joseph Gaffney (December 18, 1883–May 25, 1948) was a soldier in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I. He was considered "the second bravest man in the U. S. Army."

Biography[edit | edit source]

Gaffney was born December 18, 1883 in Buffalo, New York. He died May 25, 1948, and is buried in United German and French Cemetery Buffalo, New York.[1]

27th Division commander Major General John F. O'Ryan reportedly called PFC Gaffney "the human hurricane."[2] PFC Gaffney also received the British Distinguished Conduct Medal, the French Croix de Guerre and Médaille militaire, and the Montenegrin Medal for Military Bravery.[3] Gaffney, who was known as "the second bravest man in the U. S. Army," later lost his left arm in fighting at St. Souplet on October 15.[4]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 108th Infantry, 27th Division. Place and date: Near Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Niagara Falls, N.Y. Birth: Buffalo, N.Y. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919.


Pfc. Gaffney, an automatic rifleman, pushing forward alone, after all the other members of his squad had been killed, discovered several Germans placing a heavy machinegun in position. He killed the crew, captured the gun, bombed several dugouts, and, after killing 4 more of the enemy with his pistol, held the position until reinforcements came up, when 80 prisoners were captured.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Frank Gaffney (Medal of Honor)". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7862335. Retrieved 20090731. 
  2. Maurice J. Swetland and Lilli Swetland, These Men: “For Conspicuous Bravery Above and Beyond the Call of Duty …” (Harrisburg, PA: Telegraph Press, 1940), 232.
  3. John F. O'Ryan, The Story of the 27th Division (Albany: Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., 1921).
  4. Daniel J. Sweeney, History of Buffalo and Erie County 1914-1919, 2nd ed. (Buffalo: Committee of One Hundred Under Authority of the City of Buffalo, 1920), 8, 629.
  5. "Medal of Honor recipients". Medal of Honor recipients: World War I. Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/worldwari.html. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 

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