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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

Charles White Whittlesey

  • Rank: Major (Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel)
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Battalion, 308th Infantry,
    77th Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 2 - 7, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: northeast of Binarville, in the Argonne Forest, France
Although cut off for five days from the remainder of his division, Maj. Whittlesey maintained his position, which he had reached under orders received for an advance, and held his command, consisting originally of 46 officers and men of the 308th Infantry and of Company K, of the 307th Infantry, together in the face of superior numbers of the enemy during the five days. Maj. Whittlesey and his command were cut off, and no rations or other supplies reached him, in spite of determined efforts which were made by his division. On the fourth day Maj. Whittlesey received from the enemy a written proposition to surrender, which he treated with contempt, although he was at the time out of rations and had suffered a loss of about 50 percent in killed and wounded of his command and was surrounded by the enemy.
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles W. Whittlesey
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles W. Whittlesey
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 24, 1918
    Boston Common, Massachusetts - presented by Major General Clarence R. Edwards
  • Born: January 20, 1884, Florence, Florence County, WI, United States
  • Died: November 27, 1921, at sea between New York & Cuba
  • Buried: Atlantic Ocean (lost at sea)
  • Location of Medal: Archives & Special Collections, Williams College, Williamstown, MA

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