war medal

Nearly 100 years after their heroic deeds, two World War I Army veterans were awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military honor, on Tuesday. Historians say Sgts. William Shemin and Henry Johnson hadn’t been properly recognized for their bravery under fire.

Discussing Sgt. Shemin’s service, President Obama says he “couldn’t stand to watch” as wounded comrades lay on the battlefield, in “a bloodbath.” Shemin “ran out into the hell of no-man’s land” three times to drag soldiers to safety.

Obama tells the story of Johnson’s bravery under fire after his position came under attack. It started with a “click,” the president says — the sound of Germans cutting through barbed wire.

“In just a few minutes of fighting, two Americans defeated an entire raiding party,” Obama said.

Harlem Hellfighter And Jewish Soldier Get Long-Overdue Medals Of Honor

Photo credit: Shemin Family Photo/U.S. Army
Caption: World War I veterans Sgts. William Shemin and Henry Johnson

Ecaterina Teodoroiu (1894-1917) was a Romanian soldier who fought against German forces during the First World War.

Teodoroiu spent her teenage years as a member of the Romanian Scouts and studied at the Girl’s School in Budapest. She planned to become a school teacher, however when Romania entered World War I on the Allied side in 1916 she instead decided to serve as a nurse with the Scouts. Inspired by the patriotism of the wounded soldiers she treated and the death of her brother in action, she decided to enlist as a soldier.

Although she had to apply several times before the Romanian army eventually accepted her, Teodoroiu saw combat in October 1916 at the first Battle of Jiu as part of General Ion Dragalina’s 1st Army. Some accounts say that Teodoroiu played a key part in this battle by rallying soldiers defending a bridge. Despite initially repulsing the German offensive, the 1st Army was forced back and during the retreat Teodoroiu was captured. However she managed to escape, killing at least two German soldiers in the process while sustaining only a leg wound in return.

She continued to serve in the army, however in November 1916 she  was seriously wounded by a mortar strike and had to be hospitalised. She received the Military Virtue Medal, 1st Class, for her bravery and on her return to duty was promoted to Sublocotenent (Second Lieutenant) and given command of a 25-man platoon.

Teodoroiu was killed on September 3rd 1917, during the the Battle of Mărășești, the last battle fought between Romania and Germany in the war. She was hit in the chest by a burst of machine gun fire as she led her platoon against a unit of entrenched Germans. Her last words as she died were to call out “Forward, men, I’m still with you!”.

Teodoroiu was buried in Târgu Jiu where her grave is honored by a monument. She is regarded as a heroine of Romania.

Heres a belt buckle I made in stainless steel. The medal belonged to my great uncle apparently. Its WW1 and pretty much everybody who served in the war got this and another gold coloured medal with a kind of angel on it. I think this is one of the best war medals Iv'e seen.  From the horses mane and stylized sun to the shield and skull n’ crossbones….luvvit.

Iv'e photographed it upside down just to try and capture all the details. On my waist , the medal hangs down off the buckle.

I always knew he’d been a hero in the war. That he had medals and all. And I’d wondered why he didn’t put them up in a display case, show them off for all the world to see.

But I was a little wiser, now.

Medals aren’t so simple for the people who earn them. Every time Grandpa G had looked at those medals he’d thought about the things that had happened, the things he’d seen others do, the things he’d done himself.

I know he was proud of being brave, proud of doing his best for his country. But I also know why the medals were in a pouch, in a footlocker, in an attic, kept far out of sight.

Someday maybe there’ll be medals for those who fought the war against the Yeerks.

I’ll need to buy a footlocker.

—  Jake, Book #31: The Conspiracy, pg. 138 (by K.A. Applegate)

Sergeant James Parsons of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment, 8th Australian Division directs the fire of a 2 pounder anti-tank gun at a roadblock along the Muar-Parit Sulong Road during the Battle of Muar. A Type 95 light tank is visibly destroyed in the background. For his and his crew’s part in destroying six of the nine Japanese tanks during the battle, Parsons was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. 

Five Waterloo medals from soldiers of the Scots Greys. These I handled a little yesterday as they were prepared to go on display alongside two all ready up. My extra excitement was that they will be joined by my interpretive text when it’s back from the printers!!! Come see these special medals at the Royals Scots Dragoon Guards Museum at Edinburgh Castle.