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John Cridland Latham
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1888-03-03)March 3, 1888
Died November 5, 1975(1975-11-05) (aged 87)
Place of birth Windermere, England
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Warrant Officer
Unit Machine Gun Company, 107th Infantry, 27th Division
Awards Medal of Honor

John Cridland Latham (March 3, 1888 – November 5, 1975) was a United States Army soldier who received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in World War I.

Born on March 3, 1888, in Windemere, England, Latham immigrated to the United States and joined the Army from Rutherford, New Jersey. By September 29, 1918, he was serving as a sergeant in Machine Gun Company, 107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division. On that day, near Le Catelet in northeastern France, he and two other soldiers, Sergeant Alan L. Eggers and Corporal Thomas E. O'Shea, left cover to rescue the crew of a disabled American tank. O'Shea was killed in the process, but Latham and Eggers successfully defended the wounded tank crewmen from German fire all day and carried them to the safety of the Allied lines after nightfall. For this action, all three soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor the next year.[1]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Latham's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Becoming separated from their platoon by a smoke barrage, Sgt. Latham, Sgt. Alan L. Eggers, and Cpl. Thomas E. O'Shea took cover in a shellhole well within the enemy's lines. Upon hearing a call for help from an American tank which had become disabled 30 yards from them, the 3 soldiers left their shelter and started toward the tank under heavy fire from German machineguns and trench mortars. In crossing the fire-swept area, Cpl. O'Shea was mortally wounded, but his companions, undeterred, proceeded to the tank, rescued a wounded officer, and assisted 2 wounded soldiers to cover in the sap of a nearby trench. Sgts. Latham and Eggers then returned to the tank in the face of the violent fire, dismounted a Hotchkiss gun, and took it back to where the wounded men were keeping off the enemy all day by effective use of the gun and later bringing it with the wounded men back to our lines under cover of darkness.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

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