SMITH, FRED E. - Medal of Honor Recipient


Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 308th Infantry, 77th Division.

Place and date: Near Binarville, France, 29 September 1918.

Entered service at: Bartlett, N. Dak.

Birth: Rockford, Ill. G.O. NO.: 49, W.D., 1922.

Citation: When communication from the forward regimental post of command to the battalion leading the advance had been interrupted temporarily by the infiltration of small parties of the enemy armed with machineguns, Lt. Col. Smith personally led a party of 2 other officers and 10 soldiers, and went forward to reestablish runner posts and carry ammunition to the front line. The guide became confused and the party strayed to the left flank beyond the outposts of supporting troops, suddenly coming under fire from a group of enemy machineguns only 50 yards away. Shouting to the other members of his party to take cover this officer, in disregard of his danger, drew his pistol and opened fire on the German guncrew. About this time he fell, severely wounded in the side, but regaining his footing, he continued to fire on the enemy until most of the men in his party were out of danger. Refusing first-aid treatment he then made his way in plain view of the enemy to a handgrenade dump and returned under continued heavy machinegun fire for the purpose of making another attack on the enemy emplacements. As he was attempting to ascertain the exact location of the nearest nest, he again fell, mortally wounded .

This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)