Delaware Military History
Delaware Heroes
of the Great War







Distinguished Service Cross

No Delawareans are on record to have received the Medal of Honor.  But sons of
Delaware were awarded the nation’s next highest honor for their actions during World
War I.  

Thomas D. Amory, second lieutenant, 26th Infantry Regiment, in Archie Roosevelt’s
Company, from Wilmington Delaware.  He was a graduate of the Virginia Military
Institute. For extraordinary heroism in action near Verdun, France, October 2, 1918.  
Lieutenant Amory took out a patrol of 64 men, penetrating enemy lines for the purposes
of reconnoitering terrain over which an advance was to be made the following morning.  
When the patrol was fired upon by machine guns from all sides, this officer led three of
his men forward to clear the machine gun nests, placing the rest of his men under cover.
He succeeded in overcoming one of these nests, and killing the enemy, but as he was
advancing on another gun, located in a house about 10 yards away, he was killed by a
machine gun bullet, his last words being, “We’ll take that nest, or die trying.”  Amory
had been seriously wounded the previous May, but had returned to action with his
Company.  He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.

Edwin H. Cooper, Captain (Signal Corps) 26th Division, United States Army, of
Wilmington Delaware.  For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with
Photographic Section, Signal Corps (Attached), 26th Division, A.E.F., near Torcy,
France, 18 and 20 July 1918. On 18 July Captain Cooper advanced fearlessly under
enemy fire to an exposed position in a shell hole in front of the attacking troops in order
to carry out a photographic mission. While in this position he went to the rescue of a
wounded man and carried him to the shelter of a shell hole about 100 yards to the rear.
Later he assisted in the evacuation of enemy prisoners. On 20 July he again advanced to
a forward position in order to secure pictures of the attacking troops. His gallant conduct
stimulated the morale of the advancing troops. General Orders: War Department,
General Orders No. 24 (1920)

George H. Fergusen, second lieutenant, 6th Infantry, from East Main Street, Newark
Delaware. For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 6th Infantry
Regiment, 5th Division, A.E.F., near Romagne, France, 14 October 1918. After being
painfully wounded in the leg early in the attack, Lieutenant Ferguson continued
forward, leading his platoon through an unusually heavy artillery and machine-gun
fire. Later he left a shell hole in which he had taken refuge and administered first aid to
soldiers who had fallen near him, until forced to abandon his work because of
exhaustion. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 44 (1919)

Leroy Jones, private first class, Company E, 115th Infantry of 28 Kempmere Road,
Wilmington Delaware. For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with
Company E, 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F., near Verdun, France, 8
October 1918. While his platoon was being held up by machinegun fire, Private Jones
voluntarily left his position and, crawling through intense machinegun fire, he single-
handed captured two machine guns, killing four of the enemy and taking both crews.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 32 (1919).

John W. O’Daniel, second lieutenant, 11th Infantry, from East Main Street Newark
Delaware. For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 11th Infantry
Regiment, 5th Division, A.E.F., near Bois-St. Claude, in the St. Mihiel salient, 12
September 1918. After being severely wounded in the head early in the action
Lieutenant O'Daniel continued in command of his platoon, leading his men for several
hours until forced to give in to complete physical exhaustion, thus displaying most
exceptional courage, determination, and devotion to duty.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 128 (1918). O’Daniel would go
on to lead the Third Infantry Division in World War II and retire as a Lieutenant General.

George Ogden corporal, Company H, 110th Infantry Regiment, United States Army,
from Wilmington Delaware. For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with
Company H, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division, A.E.F., near Montblainville,
France, 27 September and near Baslieux, France, 2 to 9 November 1918. While acting as
battalion scout, Corporal Ogden succeeded in driving away the crews of two enemy
machine-guns by sniping. Operating one of these guns himself and a sergeant the other,
they materially assisted in repulsing an enemy counterattack On another occasion,
while leading a patrol of ten men on the Vesle River, Corporal Ogden succeeded in
getting on the flank of the enemy and by rifle fire forced about 100 to retreat from a
trench in disorder, inflicting many casualties. Later he succeeded in getting in the rear of
the enemy positions, remaining in hiding until night, and then returned with valuable
information relative to the enemy's positions. General Orders: War Department, General
Orders 98 (1919).

Leroy E. Simmers, private, 116th Ambulance Company, 104th Sanitary Train, of
Wilmington Delaware.  For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 116th
Ambulance Company, 104th Sanitary Train, 29th Division, A.E.F., near Haumont,
France, 11 October 1918. Private Simmers, a stretcher bearer, gave proof of great
courage and unhesitating devotion to duty under heavy shell fire by assisting three
wounded soldiers to a place of safety, he himself being wounded while so doing. After
receiving first aid he returned to the shell-swept area and continued in the work of
rescuing the wounded. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 27 (1919).

John H. Temple, private, Company I, 312th Infantry regiment, of Marshallton
Delaware. For extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company I, 312th
Infantry Regiment, 78th Division, A.E.F., near Grand Pre, France, 23 October 1918.
After his platoon had reached its objective and was forced to retire under perilous
machine-gun fire, Private Temple and two companions were surrounded by the enemy.
His companions were wounded, but he bravely held off the enemy, after which he
assisted both his companions to a first-aid station.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders 64 (1919)













Navy Cross



Thomas Holcomb, major, 2nd Battalion 6th Marine Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps, of
New Castle Delaware. From August 1917 to January 1918, Major Holcomb commanded
the 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, in
preparation of overseas duty. From February 1918 to July of the next year, following his
appointment to lieutenant colonel on June 4, 1920, he served with the American
Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France. He commanded the 2d Battalion from August
1918 and served as second in command of the 6th Marine Regiment, taking part in the
Aisne Defensive (Chateau Thierry), the Aisne-Marne Offensive (Soissons), the Marbache
Sector, the St. Mihiel Offensive, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive(Champagne), the Meuse-
Argonne Offensive (Argonne Forest), and the March to the Rhine in Germany following
the Armistice.

In recognition of his distinguished services in France, he was awarded the Navy Cross, (
the Naval equivalent of the Distinguished Service Cross) the Silver Star with three Oak
Leaf Clusters, a Meritorious Service Citation by the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, the
Purple Heart, and was three times cited in General Orders of the Second Division, AEF.
The French Government conferred on him the Cross of the Legion of Honor and three
times awarded him the Croix de Guerre with Palm.

Sources:
Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the
Distinguished Service Medal Issued by the War Department Since April 6, 1917: Up to and

Including General Orders, No. 126, War Department, November 11, 1919