James I. Mestrovitch

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James I. Mestrovitch
James I. Mestrovitch - WWI Medal of Honor recipient.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1894-05-22)May 22, 1894
Bay of Kotor, Austrian Littoral
(modern Montenegro)
Died November 4, 1918(1918-11-04) (aged 24)
France
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1917 - 1918
Rank Sergeant
Unit Company C, 111th Infantry, 28th Division
Awards Medal of Honor

James I. Mestrovitch (May 22, 1894 – November 4, 1918) was an American sergeant who received the Medal of Honor, United States highest military decoration, for his actions in World War I.

Mestrovitch, an ethnic Serb, was born as Joko Meštrović[1] in the area of Boka Kotorska, today's Montenegro, and after immigrating to the United States in 1913 he lived in Fresno, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[2]

During the war, Mestrovitch served at Company C, 111th Infantry, 28th Division. During the battle in Fismette in northern France, on 10 August 1918, he rescued his company commander:[3]

Seeing his company commander lying wounded 30 yards in front of the line after his company had withdrawn to a sheltered position behind a stone wall, Sgt. Mestrovitch voluntarily left cover and crawled through heavy machinegun and shell fire to where the officer lay. He took the officer upon his back and crawled to a place of safety, where he administered first-aid treatment, his exceptional heroism saving the officer's life.

He died from the Spanish flu one week before the armistice.[3] During the 1920s, his remains were repatriated by a U.S. battleship from France to Montenegro, where he was buried in cemetery of Serbian Orthodox Church of St. John in his home village of Đuraševići near Tivat.[1][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Oni ne zaboravljaju: Predstavnici ambasade SAD obišli grob Joka Meštrovića" [They do not forget: envoys from the U.S. Embassy visited the grave of Joko Meštrović] (in Serbo-Croatian). Vijesti. November 11, 2014. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  2. ^ "SGT James I. Mestrovitch". Military Hall of Honor. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b "Army Sergeant James I. Mestrovitch - World War I". U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. March 25, 2011. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  4. ^ "Joko Meštrović, junak Crnogoraca, Srba i SAD". Danas. March 31, 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-24. 

See also[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.