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Harold Ernest Goettler
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1890-07-21)July 21, 1890
Died October 6, 1918(1918-10-06) (aged 28)
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois
Place of death KIA near Binarville, France
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army Air Service
Years of service 1917-1918
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit 50th Aero Squadron
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor

Harold Ernest Goettler (July 21, 1890 – October 6, 1918) was a U.S. Army Air Service aviator killed in action on October 6, 1918 while locating the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division during World War I. He died of wounds resulting from German fire from the ground during the flight. For his actions, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor. He attended the The University of Chicago, and the Harold E. Goettler Political Institutions Prize awarded to University of Chicago undergraduates is named in his honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, pilot, U.S. Air Service, 50th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Place and date: Near Binarville, France, October 6, 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: July 21, 1890, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 56, W.D., 1922. Citation:

1st. Lt. Goettler, with his observer, 2d Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley, 130th Field Artillery, left the airdrome late in the afternoon on their second trip to drop supplies to a battalion of the 77th Division which had been cut off by the enemy in the Argonne Forest. Having been subjected on the first trip to violent fire from the enemy, they attempted on the second trip to come still lower in order to get the packages even more precisely on the designated spot. In the course of this mission the plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machinegun fire from the ground, resulting in the instant death of 1st. Lt. Goettler. In attempting and performing this mission 1st. Lt. Goettler showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage and valor.

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