Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

William Bradford Turner

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    Company M, 105th Infantry,
    27th Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 27, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Ronssoy, France
He led a small group of men to the attack, under terrific artillery and machine-gun fire, after they had become separated from the rest of the company in the darkness. Singlehandedly he rushed an enemy machine gun which had suddenly opened fire on his group and killed the crew with his pistol. He then pressed forward to another machine-gun post 25 yards away and had killed one gunner himself by the time the remainder of his detachment arrived and put the gun out of action. With the utmost bravery he continued to lead his men over three lines of hostile trenches, cleaning up each one as they advanced, regardless of the fact that he had been wounded three times, and killed several of the enemy in hand-to-hand encounters. After his pistol ammunition was exhausted, this gallant officer seized the rifle of a dead soldier, bayoneted several members of a machine-gun crew, and shot the other. Upon reaching the fourth-line trench, which was his objective, 1st Lt. Turner captured it with the nine men remaining in his group and resisted a hostile counterattack until he was finally surrounded and killed.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Garden City, Nassau County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: 1892, Dorchester, Suffolk County, MA, United States
  • Died: September 27, 1918, France
  • Buried: Somme Cemetery (MH) (B-13-1), Bony Aisne, France

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