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William F. Lukes
Landsman William F. Lukes
Born (1847-02-19)February 19, 1847
Died December 13, 1923(1923-12-13) (aged 76)
Place of birth Niederbergdorf[citation needed], Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic)
Place of death Los Angeles, California, United States
Buried at Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Colorado
Battles/wars Korean Expedition
Awards Medal of Honor

William F. Lukes (February 19, 1847, Niederbergdorf[citation needed], or may Nieder Berzdorf/Dolní Pertoltice,[1] Bezirk Saaz, northern Bohemia – December 13, 1923, Los Angeles) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the 1871 Korean Expedition.

Biography[edit | edit source]

William F. Lukes enlisted in the U.S. Navy from Tianjin, China and served as a Landsman onboard USS Colorado in Company D as part of the Korean Expedition. On June 11, 1871, during the capture of the Han River forts on Ganghwa Island, the leader of the American attack, Lieutenant Hugh McKee, was mortally wounded. Landsman Lukes and two other sailors, Seth Allen and Thomas Murphy, attempted to rescue Lt. McKee but encountered heavy resistance. In the course of the ensuing hand-to-hand fight, Allen and Murphy were killed. Lukes suffered a severe cut to the head but continued to fight; he survived the engagement. For his actions on that occasion, Lukes was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Before leaving the Navy, William Lukes obtained the rank of Seaman. He died at the age of 76 and is buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California./

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1846, Bohemia. Enlisted at: Tientsin, China. G.O. No.: 180, October 10, 1872.


Served with Company D during the capture of the Korean forts, 9 and 10 June 1871. Fighting the enemy inside the fort, Lukes received a severe cut over the head.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]

Depiction of Lukes, Allen and Murphy in hand-to-hand combat with a Korean force

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. [[:cs:Seznam německých názvů obcí a osad v Česku|]]
  2. "William F. Lukes, Medal of Honor recipient". 1871 Korean Campaign. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/korean1871.html. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 

References[edit | edit source]

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