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 John J. Monson

John J. Monson

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 8 Jul 1921 (aged 34)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section: 2 , Site: 8409
Memorial ID 2594765 · View Source
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World War I hero. Monson was a private in the 308th Infantry regiment. He was also the third member and a runner of Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion." Whittlesey and his men were twice cut off during the fight in the Argonne. In the first instance, On September 28, 1918, near Binarville, France, Monson, in company with Lieutenant Arthur McKeogh, battalion adjutant, and another runner named Herskowitz, passed through the German lines. A citation by Marshall Petain, awarding the Medaille Militaire to Monson, tell his bravery in exposing himself to draw the fire of the Germans and save Lieutenant McKeogh. Monson and Lieutenant McKeogh got back to regimental headquarters and within a few hours the battalion was rescued. The experiences of the officer and the two privates were told in magazine stories by Lieutenant McKeogh, who is now associate editor of the Saturday Evening Post. Monson came from obscurity. There was nothing remarkable about him, and those who knew him before would have hardly discerned the heroic in him. Yet there was burning within him the fires of patriotism, nourished and developed in New York City, and this patriotism found expression on that day in October, 1918. He went out with two of his comrades. He knew it was no easy mission and that it would be most difficult to get through without being discovered. He and his companions leaped not to safety but into danger from the enemy. In that moment he deliberately drew the fire of the enemy on himself so that his comrades might be able to get through to fulfill their mission to rescue the battalion. In addition to the medal received from Marshall Petain, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Service Cross.

The citation for his Distinguished Service Cross is as follows:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private John J. Monson (ASN: 1707736), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company A, 308th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division, A.E.F., near Binarville, France, 29 September 1918. In order to obtain ammunition and rations, Private Monson, with another soldier, accompanied an officer in an effort to reestablish communication between battalion and regimental headquarters. They were attacked by a small party of Germans, but drove them off, killing one. When night came, they crawled unknowingly into the center of a German camp, where they lay for three hours, undetected. Finally discovered, they made a dash to escape. In order to protect the officer, Private Monson deliberately drew the enemy fire to himself, allowing the officer to escape. Private Monson succeeded in getting through and delivering his message the next morning.


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  • Maintained by: Saratoga
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 3 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2594765
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John J. Monson (18 Dec 1886–8 Jul 1921), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2594765, citing Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Saratoga (contributor 46965279) .