Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War I - U.S. Marine Corps

Matej Kocak

Details
  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    66th Company, 5th Regiment,
    2d Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: July 18, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Soissons, France
Citation

[Received both the Army and Navy Medal of Honor for the same deed.]

Army Medal of Honor: When the advance of his battalion was checked by a hidden machine-gun nest, he went forward alone, unprotected by covering fire from his own men, and worked in between the German positions in the face of fire from enemy covering detachments. Locating the machine-gun nest, he rushed it and with his bayonet and drove off the crew. Shortly after this he orgnaized 25 French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machine-gun nest, which was also put out of action. Navy Medal of Honor For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division, in action in the Viller-Cottertes section, south of Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. When a hidden machine-gun nest halted the advance of his battalion, Sgt. Kocak went forward alone unprotected by covering fire and worked his way in between the German positions in the face of heavy enemy fire. Rushing the enemy position with his bayonet, he drove off the crew. Later the same day, Sgt. Kocak organized French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in an attack on another machine-gun nest which was also put out of action.

Medal of Honor Recipient Matej Kocak
Medal of Honor Recipient Matej Kocak
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: New York, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 11, 1920
  • Born: December 31, 1882, Gbely, Austria (now in Slovakia)
  • Died: October 4, 1918, Blanc Mont Ridge, France
  • Buried: Meuse Argonne Cemetery (MH) (D-41-32), Romagne Meuse, France
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