John Cridland Latham
|John Cridland Latham|
Medal of Honor recipient
March 3, 1888|
|Died||November 5, 1975(aged 87)|
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Unit||Machine Gun Company, 107th Infantry, 27th Division|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Born on March 3, 1888, in Windermere, England, Latham immigrated to the United States and joined the Army from Rutherford, New Jersey. By September 29, 1918, he was serving as a sergeant in Machine Gun Company, 107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division. On that day, near Le Catelet in northeastern France, he and two other soldiers, Sergeant Alan L. Eggers and Corporal Thomas E. O'Shea, left cover to rescue the crew of a disabled American tank. O'Shea was killed in the process, but Latham and Eggers successfully defended the wounded tank crewmen from German fire all day and carried them to the safety of the Allied lines after nightfall. For this action, all three soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor the next year.
Medal of Honor citation
Latham's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Becoming separated from their platoon by a smoke barrage, Sgt. Latham, Sgt. Alan L. Eggers, and Cpl. Thomas E. O'Shea took cover in a shellhole well within the enemy's lines. Upon hearing a call for help from an American tank which had become disabled 30 yards from them, the 3 soldiers left their shelter and started toward the tank under heavy fire from German machineguns and trench mortars. In crossing the fire-swept area, Cpl. O'Shea was mortally wounded, but his companions, undeterred, proceeded to the tank, rescued a wounded officer, and assisted 2 wounded soldiers to cover in the sap of a nearby trench. Sgts. Latham and Eggers then returned to the tank in the face of the violent fire, dismounted a Hotchkiss gun, and took it back to where the wounded men were keeping off the enemy all day by effective use of the gun and later bringing it with the wounded men back to our lines under cover of darkness.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.