Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army Air Service

Harold Ernest Goettler

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    50th Aero Squadron,
    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
First Lt. Harold E. Goettler, with his observer, 2d Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley, 130th Field Artillery, 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 the instant death of 1st Lt. Goettler. In attempting and performing this mission 1st Lt. Goettler showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage, and valor.
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold E. Goettler
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold E. Goettler
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: 1923
    Mailed to his mother
  • Born: July 21, 1890, Chicago, Cook County, IL, United States
  • Died: October 6, 1918, France
  • Buried: Graceland Cemetery (PM) (E&F-506) , Chicago, IL, United States
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

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