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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Army

William Joseph "wild bill" Donovan

  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel (Highest Rank: Major General)
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    165th Infantry,
    42d Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 14 - 15, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Landres-et-St. Georges, France
Lt. Col. Donovan personally led the assaulting wave in an attack upon a very strongly organized position, and when our troops were suffering heavy casualties he encouraged all near him by his example, moving among his men in exposed positions, reorganizing decimated platoons, and accompanying them forward in attacks. When he was wounded in the leg by machine-gun bullets, he refused to be evacuated and continued with his unit until it withdrew to a less exposed position.
Medal of Honor Recipient William Joseph "wild bill" Donovan
Medal of Honor Recipient William Joseph "wild bill" Donovan
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Buffalo, Erie County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: January 1, 1883, Buffalo, Erie County, NY, United States
  • Died: February 8, 1959, Washington, DC, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (2-4874), Arlington, VA, United States

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