Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Haitian Campaign 1919 - 1920 - U.S. Marine Corps

William Robert Button

  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Haitian Campaign 1919 - 1920
  • Unit/Command:
    Gendarmerie d'Haiti
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 31 - November 1, 1919
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, on the night from 31 October to 1 November 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemagne Peralte, the supreme bandit chief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing, capture, and dispersal of about 1,200 of his outlaw followers. Cpl. William R. Button not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and leadership but also unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger when the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of Gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.
Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Button
Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Button
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 1, 1920
    Washington, D.C., presented by Gen. John A. Lejeune
  • Born: December 3, 1895, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, United States
  • Died: April 15, 1921, Cape Haitien, Haiti
  • Buried: Valhalla Cemetery (PM) (5-66-1), St. Louis, MO, United States

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