Joseph B. Adkison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joseph B. Adkison
Joseph B. Adkison - WWI Medal of Honor recipient.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1892-01-04)January 4, 1892
Egypt, Tennessee
Died May 23, 1965(1965-05-23) (aged 73)
Atoka, Tennessee
Place of burial Atoka, Tennessee
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1917-1921
Rank Army-USA-OR-05.svgSergeant
Unit 119 Inf Rgt DUI.jpg 119th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor

Joseph Bernard Adkison (January 4, 1892 – May 23, 1965) was an American soldier serving in the U.S. Army during World War I who received the Medal of Honor for bravery.


Adkison was born in Atoka, Tennessee, and entered the Army in 1917 in Memphis. By mid-1918, Adkison and his division were involved in combat in France. On September 29, 1918, near Bellicourt, France, Adkison, by then a Sergeant, found he and his platoon pinned down by heavy German machine gun fire located fifty yards to their front.

Adkison, acting alone, charged the machine gun nest, kicked it over into the enemy trench, and using the bayonet fixed on his rifle captured the three man machine gun crew, allowing his platoon to advance. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919, and was one of six soldiers from Tennessee to receive that medal for their service during the First World War. Another of the six was Alvin York, subject of the film Sergeant York starring actor Gary Cooper.

Adkison died in 1965, and is buried in Salem Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church in Atoka, Tennessee.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 119th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: At Bellicourt, France; September 29, 1918. Entered service at: Memphis Tennessee. Born: January 4, 1892; Egypt, Tennessee. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 59 (May 3, 1919).


When murderous machinegun fire at a range of 50 yards had made it impossible for his platoon to advance, and had caused the platoon to take cover Sergeant. Adkison alone, with the greatest intrepidity, rushed across the 50 yards of open ground directly into the face of the hostile machinegun kicked the gun from the parapet into the enemy trench, and at the point of the bayonet captured the 3 men manning the gun. The gallantry and quick decision of this soldier enabled the platoon to resume its advance.

See also[edit]