|John Hunter Wickersham|
Medal of Honor recipient
|Born||February 3, 1890|
|Died||September 12, 1918(aged 28)|
|Place of birth||New York City, New York|
|Place of death||near Limey, France|
|Place of burial||St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Unit||353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division|
World War I|
• Battle of Saint-Mihiel
Medal of Honor|
Croce di Guerra (Italy)
John Hunter Wickersham (February 3, 1890 – September 12, 1918) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War I.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Wickersham was born in New York City to Mary E. Damon. He joined the Army from Denver, Colorado, and by September 11, 1918 was serving as a second lieutenant in the 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division in France. On that day, as his unit prepared to take part in an offensive which would become the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Wickersham wrote one last letter home to his mother in Denver. The letter contained a poem, "The Raindrops on Your Old Tin Hat", which was later published.
The next day, on September 12, Wickersham was severely wounded near Limey, France, but continued to lead his platoon in its advance until collapsing and succumbing to his injuries. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919.
Second Lieutenant Wickersham's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Advancing with his platoon during the St. Mihiel offensive, he was severely wounded in 4 places by the bursting of a high-explosive shell. Before receiving any aid for himself he dressed the wounds of his orderly, who was wounded at the same time. He then ordered and accompanied the further advance of his platoon, although weakened by the loss of blood. His right hand and arm being disabled by wounds, he continued to fire his revolver with his left hand until, exhausted by loss of blood, he fell and died from his wounds before aid could be administered.
The poem he wrote to his mother the day before he died reads as follows:
The mist hangs low and quiet on a ragged line of hills,
—"The Raindrops on Your Old Tin Hat" by J. Hunter Wickersham
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
- "Medal of Honor recipients - World War I". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. July 16, 2007. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/worldwari.html. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Howard, John Raymond (ed.) (1922). Poems of Heroism in American Life. Thomas Y. Crowell Co.. p. 317. http://books.google.com/books?id=f9dIAAAAIAAJ.
- "John Hunter Wickersham (1890 - 1918) grave". Find a Grave. June 19, 2005. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11200579. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- "John Hunter Wickersham (1890 - 1918) memorial". Find a Grave. June 18, 2005. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11197564. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
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