Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Haitian Campaign 1915 - U.S. Marine Corps

Smedley Darlington Butler

  • Rank: Major (Highest Rank: Major General)
  • Conflict/Era: Haitian Campaign 1915
  • Unit/Command:
    2d Marines,
    U.S.S. Connecticut
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 17, 1915
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Fort Riviere, Haiti

Second Award: As commanding officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the U.S.S. Connecticut, Maj. Butler led the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Maj. Butler gave the signal to attack and marines from the 15th Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed the Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Maj. Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership.

Medal of Honor Recipient Smedley D. Butler
Medal of Honor Recipient Smedley D. Butler
Additional Details
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 17, 1916
  • Born: July 30, 1881, West Chester, Chester County, PA, United States
  • Died: June 21, 1940, Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • Buried: Oakland Cemetery (PMH) (B-1), West Chester, PA, United States
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of the US Marine Corps (Medals for both actions), Quantico, VA

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