WW1 Quartermaster Sergeant Awarded DSC

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    In the spring of 1917, the U.S. Government declared war on Germany. Several new camps opened (including Camp Lee, Virginia) and tens of thousands of troops began training for duty on the Western Front in Europe. It was called "The Great War" back then, or "The War to End All Wars." But we know it today as World War I.

    Armies in Europe fought on a scale never before seen. And introduced a range of new weapons, like: submarines, machine guns, long range artillery, poison gas, and airplanes. Trench fighting at its worst (such as the Battle of the Somme, or Verdun) resulted in upwards of 20,000 deaths – in a single day. That’s what Quartermaster soldiers faced when they joined the Allied Expeditionary Force to France in 1918. Many experienced the shock of battle firsthand, and responded with both PERSONAL COURAGE and INTEGRITY.

    Take, for example, the case of Sergeant Laurence M. Lumkin, assigned to a Quartermaster Pack Train, supporting the 1st Infantry Division (the "Big Red One") near the little French village of Exermont. On October 4th, 1918, Sergeant Lumpkin's pack train was loaded down with barbed wire and other badly needed barrier material, on their way to the front. Suddenly, without warning, German batteries opened fire, and all hell broke loose. Caught in the open and easily visible to the enemy, they began receiving machine gun and sniper rounds as well. Killing almost instantly five of the ten mules in his pack train.

    Even the hardiest doughboy might have been forgiven for retreating under such trying conditions. But the Quartermaster NCO refused to say quits. He knew how desperately the wire was needed up ahead. So he rallied his troops and pushed on. Through the killing zone right up to the front, where they were warmly received. Having survived what few others would have even attempted, Sergeant Lumpkin, later in the same day made a return trip. Packed another load of barrier material and ran that terrible gauntlet of enemy fire a second time

    For his extraordinary heroism that day, Sergeant Lumpkin was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross - the second highest honor that can be won in combat.


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