Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army Air Service

Erwin Russell Bleckley

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    50th Aero Squadron, 130th Field Artillery,
    Air Service
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army Air Service
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 6, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Binarville, France

Second Lt. Bleckley, with his pilot, 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler, Air Service, left the airdrome late in the afternoon on their second trip to drop supplies to a battalion of the 77th Division, which had been cut off by the enemy in the Argonne Forest. Having been subjected on the first trip to violent fire from the enemy, they attempted on the second trip to come still lower in order to get the packages even more precisely on the designated spot. In the course of his mission the plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machine-gun fire from the ground, resulting in fatal wounds to 2d Lt. Bleckley, who died before he could be taken to a hospital. In attempting and performing this mission 2d Lt. Bleckley showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage, and valor.

Medal of Honor Recipient Erwin R. Bleckley
Medal of Honor Recipient Erwin R. Bleckley
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 4, 1923
  • Born: December 30, 1894, Wichita, Sedgwick County, KS, United States
  • Died: October 6, 1918, France
  • Buried: Meuse-Argonne Cemetery (MH) (F-26-33), Romagne Meuse, France
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

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