Earle Davis Gregory

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Earle Davis Gregory
Earle D. Gregory.jpg
Earle D. Gregory
(Photographed while a VPI cadet)
Born (1897-10-18)October 18, 1897
Clayville, Virginia
Died January 6, 1972(1972-01-06) (aged 74)
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Place of burial Tuscaloosa Memorial Park,
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank Army-USA-OR-05.svg Sergeant
Unit Headquarters Company,
116th Infantry, 29th Division
Battles/wars

World War I

Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Mexican Border Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
Légion d'honneur (French Republic)
Médaille militaire (French Republic)
Croix de guerre (French Republic)
Croce al Merito di Guerra (Italy)
Medal for Military Bravery (Kingdom of Montenegro)

Earle Davis Gregory (October 18, 1897 – January 6, 1972) was a World War I Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic actions in 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.

Biography[edit]

Gregory's name on the Virginia Tech's MOH Cenotaph.
A stretch of highway in Chase City which bears Gregory's name

Earle Davis Gregory was born in Clayville, Virginia on October 18, 1897. He was a 1923 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), a member of the VPI Corps of Cadets.

Gregory was raised in Chase City, Virginia and graduated from Fork Union Military Academy. He entered Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1919 with the Class of 1923. While at VPI, he studied Electrical Engineering. During his senior year, he served as Alpha company commander and President of the Corps of Cadets. He was voted Most Popular Cadet by his peers during his senor year.

Military service[edit]

He enlisted at Chase City, Virginia in the U.S. Army during World War I. Earle Gregory received the Medal of Honor for actions as a U.S. Army sergeant during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I. He is considered to be the first Virginian to receive the medal and often called the Sergeant York of Virginia.

On October 8, 1918, Sgt Earl D. Gregory at Bois-de-Consenvoye, north of Verdun, France, seized a rifle and trench-mortar shell, which he used as a hand grenade. Shouting "I will get them", he left his detachment of the trench-mortar platoon, and advancing ahead of the infantry, captured a machine gun and three of the enemy. Advancing still farther from the machinegun nest, he captured a 7.5-centimeter mountain howitzer and, entering a dugout in the immediate vicinity, single-handedly captured 19 of the enemy. For this act he received the Medal of Honor.

Major General Omar Bundy presented Gregory his medal in a ceremony at Camp Lee, Virginia on April 29, 1919. He was also awarded the Croix de guerre, Medal of the Legion of Honor, Médaille militaire, and the Montenegrin Order of Merit for his actions during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Later life[edit]

After his discharge from the Army in 1919, Gregory enrolled in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) and graduated in 1923. He pursued a career with the Veterans Administration. On May 2, 1963 he met President John F. Kennedy at the White House.

On January 6, 1972, Gregory died at his home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and is buried at the Tuscaloosa Memorial Park. His grave can be found in Section 18, Lot 60.

Military Awards[1][edit]

Gregory's military decorations and awards include:

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st row Medal of Honor Purple Heart Mexican Border Service Medal
2nd row World War I Victory Medal
w/ two bronze service stars for the Meuse-Argonne
and Defensive Sector battle clasps
Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur
Degree of Knight
(French Republic)
Médaille militaire
(French Republic)
3nd row Croix de guerre 1914–1918
w/bronze palm (French Republic)
Croce al Merito di Guerra
(Italy)
Medal for Military Bravery
(Kingdom of Montenegro)

Other awards -

  • Southern Cross of Honor, 1917-1918 pattern (United Daughters of the Confederacy)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Membership Insignia (VFW)

Medal of Honor Citation[edit]

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 34 (March 7, 1919)

"The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to

SERGEANT EARLE DAVIS GREGORY (ASN: 1290053)

UNITED STATES ARMY

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For extraordinary heroism on 8 October 1918, while serving with Headquarters Company, 116th Infantry, 29th Division, in action at Bois-de-Consenvoye, France. With the remark "I will get them," Sergeant Gregory seized a rifle and a trench-mortar shell, which he used as a hand grenade, left his detachment of the trench-mortar platoon, and advancing ahead of the infantry, captured a machinegun and three of the enemy. Advancing still farther from the machinegun nest, he captured a 7.5-centimeter mountain howitzer and, entering a dugout in the immediate vicinity, single-handedly captured 19 of the enemy.

/S/ WOODROW WILSON" [2] [3]

The Gregory Guard[edit]

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets precision military marching unit, The Gregory Guard, was named in honor of Sgt Gregory in May 1963.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gregory's Original Military Decorations as Maintained in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Special Collections". Virginia Polytehnic Institute and State University. October 11, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients". World War I. United States Army Center of Military History. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Earle Davis Gregory". Military Times Hall of Valor. Military Times. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

External links[edit]