William B. Turner

  • Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army 105th Infantry, 27th Division.
  • Place and date: Near Ronssoy, France, 27 September 1918.
  • Entered service at: Garden City, N.Y.
  • Birth: Boston, Mass.
  • G.O. No.: 81, W.D., 1919.

Citation: He led a small group of men to the attack, under terrific artillery and machinegun fire, after they had become separated from the rest of the company in the darkness. Single-handed he rushed an enemy machinegun which had suddenly opened fire on his group and killed the crew with his pistol [M1911]. He then pressed forward to another machinegun post 25 yards away and had killed 1 gunner himself by the time the remainder of his detachment arrived and put the gun out of action. With the utmost bravery he continued to lead his men over 3 lines of hostile trenches, cleaning up each one as they advanced, regardless of the fact that he had been wounded 3 times, and killed several of the enemy in hand-to-hand encounters. After his pistol ammunition was exhausted, this gallant officer seized the rifle of a dead soldier, bayoneted several members of a machinegun crew, and shot the other. Upon reaching the fourth-line trench, which was his objective, 1st Lt. Turner captured it with the 9 men remaining in his group and resisted a hostile counterattack until he was finally surrounded and killed.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations, U.S. Army Center of Military History

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