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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

Dwite H Schaffner

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    Company K, 306th Infantry,
    77th Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 28, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near St. Hubert's Pavillion, Boureuilles, France
He led his men in an attack on St. Hubert's Pavillion through terrific enemy machine-gun, rifle, and artillery fire and drove the enemy from a strongly held entrenched position after hand-to-hand fighting. His bravery and contempt for danger inspired his men, enabling them to hold fast in the face of three determined enemy counterattacks. His company's position being exposed to enemy fire from both flanks, he made three efforts to locate an enemy machine gun which had caused heavy casualties. On his third reconnaissance he discovered the gun position and personally silenced the gun, killing or wounding the crew. The third counterattack made by the enemy was initiated by the appearance of a small detachment in advance of the enemy attacking wave. When almost within reach of the American front line, the enemy appeared behind them, attacking vigorously with pistols, rifles, and hand grenades, causing heavy casualties in the American platoon. First Lt. Schaffner mounted the parapet of the trench and used his pistol and grenades, killing a number of the enemy soldiers, finally reaching the enemy officer leading the attack forces, a captain, shooting and mortally wounding the latter with his pistol, and dragging the captured officer back to the company's trench, securing from him valuable information as to the enemy's strength and position. The information enabled 1st Lt. Schaffner to maintain for five hours the advanced position of his company despite the fact that it was surrounded on three sides by strong enemy forces. The undaunted bravery, gallant soldierly conduct, and leadership displayed by 1st Lt. Schaffner undoubtedly saved the survivors of the company from death or capture.
Medal of Honor Recipient Dwite H. Schaffner
Medal of Honor Recipient Dwite H. Schaffner
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Falls Creek, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: September 23, 1923
    Presented by General John R. McQuigg in Akron, Ohio
  • Born: November 5, 1889, Arroya, Elk County, PA, United States
  • Died: November 22, 1955
  • Buried: Rose Hill Burial Park Cemetery (6-88A), Akron, OH, United States

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