John H. Pruitt

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John Henry Pruitt
Pruitt JH USMC.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1896-10-04)October 4, 1896
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Died October 4, 1918(1918-10-04) (aged 22)
KIA at Blanc Mont Ridge, France
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1917-1918
Rank Corporal
Unit 6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division
Battles/wars Battle of Chateau-Thierry
Battle of Belleau Wood
Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge
Awards Medal of Honor Army
Medal of Honor Navy
Silver Star (3)
Purple Heart (2)

John Henry Pruitt (October 4, 1896–October 4, 1918) was a United States Marine during World War I and is one of only 19 people who received two Medals of Honor.[1] The Medals of Honor were presented posthumously for his actions during World War I.

Biography[edit]

John Henry Pruitt was born on October 4, 1896, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He entered military service from Phoenix, Arizona in May 1917. As a corporal in the Marine Corps, Pruitt attacked and captured two enemy machine guns, and later captured forty of the enemy. Killed by shell-fire on his 22nd birthday, the U.S. Army and later the U.S. Navy would award him the Medal of Honor for his bravery a day earlier on October 3, 1918, at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, France.

After his remains were returned to the United States he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His grave can be found in section 18, lot #245-3, map grid P 10.

Medal of Honor Citations[edit]

Army Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Place and date: At Blanc Mont Ridge, France; October 3, 1918. Entered service at: Phoenix, Arizona. Born: October 4, 1896; Fayetteville, Arkansas. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 62 (May 10, 1919).

Citation:

Pruitt single-handedly attacked two machineguns, capturing them and killing two of the enemy. He then captured 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby. This gallant Marine was killed soon afterward by shellfire while he was sniping at the enemy.[2]
Navy Medal of Honor

Pruitt, John Henry
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
78th Company, 6th Regiment

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Blanc Mont Ridge, France, October 3, 1918. Corporal Pruitt single-handed attacked two machine-guns, capturing them and killing two of the enemy. He then captured 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby. This gallant soldier was killed soon afterward by shell-fire while he was sniping the enemy.[3]

Silver Star Citations[4][edit]

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Action Date: September 15, 1918. General Orders: GHQ, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Orders No. 4 (June 3, 1919).

Citation:

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Corporal John Henry Pruitt (MCSN: 85857/121222), United States Marine Corps, is cited (Posthumously) by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Corporal Pruitt distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with the 78th Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near Thiaucourt, France, 15 September 1918, in aiding in the capture of an enemy machine gun.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Action Dates: October 1-10, 1918. General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces.

Citation:

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Corporal John Henry Pruitt (MCSN: 85857/121222), United States Marine Corps, is cited (Posthumously) by the Commanding General, SECOND Division, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Corporal Pruitt distinguished himself while serving with the 78th Company, Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Blanc Mont, France, 1 - 10 October 1918. (SECOND Citation).

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Action Dates: October 1-10, 1918. General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces.

Citation:

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Corporal John Henry Pruitt (MCSN: 85857/121222), United States Marine Corps, is cited (Posthumously) by the Commanding General, SECOND Division, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Corporal Pruitt distinguished himself while serving with the 78th Company, Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Blanc Mont, France, 1 - 10 October 1918. (THIRD Citation).

Military Awards[5][6][edit]

Pruitt's military decorations and awards include:

V
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Silver star
1st row Medal of Honor w/ “V” device for second award
2nd row Silver Star w/ two bronze oak leaf clusters Purple Heart w/ one gold award star World War I Victory Medal w/ one silver service star to denote credit for Aisne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector battle clasps.
3nd row Médaille militaire (French Republic) Croix de guerre 1914–1918 with bronze palm (French Republic) Croce al Merito di Guerra (Italy)
Unit Award French Fourragère - Authorized permanent wear based on two French Croix de Guerre with Palm and one French Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star unit citations awarded to 6th Marines in WWI.

On April 22, 2003, the Pruitt Family, represented by Nina Pruitt Groves Church, Linda Pruitt Albanese, Georgia Pruitt Ahrlich (nieces), John Henry Pruitt II (nephew and namesake), and Glen Ahrlich (great-nephew), removed all existing medals from the conservatorship of the Arizona State Capital Museum and presented them to the care and keeping of the United States Marine Corps to be transported to Quantico for display in the Marine Museum.[7]

Namesake[edit]

The United States Navy named a destroyer USS Pruitt in his honor and he was listed in Pershing's 100. Pruitt Hall on Marine Corps Base Quantico is named for him.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Military times; Double Medal of Honor awards
  2. ^ "Army Medal of Honor Citation for John Henry Pruitt". Military Times Hall of Valor at militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Navy Medal of Honor Citation for Corporal John H. Pruitt" (PDF). United States Marine Corps University History Division Holdings. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Silver Star Citations for John Henry Pruitt". Military Times Hall of Valor at militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Silver Star Citations for John Henry Pruitt". Military Times Hall of Valor at militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  6. ^ Corporal John H. Pruitt Web Page. United States Marine Corps University History Division. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  7. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=dfl&GRid=4782&FLsr=2

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]