Haiti: US Navy Medal of Honor

Haitian Campaign, 1915

Butler, Smedley Darlington (Second Award), Major, US Marine Corps, Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.

Daly, Daniel Joseph (Second Award), Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps, Fort Riviere, Haiti, 22 October 1915.

Gross, Samuel, Private, US Marine Corps, 23d Company. (Real name is Marguiles, Samuel.), Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.

Iams, Ross Lindsey, Sergeant, US Marine Corps, 5th Company, Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.

Ostermann, Edward Albert, First Lieutenant, US Marine Corps, 15th Company of Marines (mounted), Vicinity Fort Liberte, Haiti, 24 October 1915.

Upshur, William Peterkin, Captain, US Marine Corps, Fort Dipitie, Haiti, 24 October 1915.

Second Haitian Campaign, 1919

Button, William Robert, Corporal, US Marine Corps, Near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, 31 October - l November 1919.

Hanneken, Herman Henry, Second Lieutenant, US Marine Corps, Near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, 31 October - l November 1919.


Butler, Smedley Darlington (Second Award)
Rank and organization: Major, US Marine Corps. Born: 30 July 1881, West Chester, Pennsylvania. Appointed from: Pennsylvania. Other Navy awards: Second Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Medal.

Citation: As Commanding Officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the USS Connecticut, Major Butler led the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Major Butler gave the signal to attack and marines from the 15th Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed the Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Major Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership.

Daly, Daniel Joseph (Second Award)
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps. Born: Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, 11 November 1873. Accredited to: New York. Other Navy awards: Second Medal of Honor, Navy Cross.

Citation: Serving with the 15th Company of Marines on 22 October 1915, Gunnery Sergeant Daly was one of the company to leave Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak the marines, in 3 squads, advanced in 3 different directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Gunnery Sergeant Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action.

Gross, Samuel
Rank and organization: Private, US Marine Corps, 23d Company (Real name is Marguiles, Samuel.) Born: 9 May 1891, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Accredited to: Pennsylvania.

Citation: In company with members of the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the USS Connecticut, Gross participated in the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Approaching a breach in the wall which was the only entrance to the fort, Gross was the second man to pass through the breach in the face of constant fire from the Cacos and, thereafter, for a 10-minute period, engaged the enemy in desperate hand-to-hand combat until the bastion was captured and Caco resistance neutralized.

Iams, Ross Lindsey
Rank and organization: Sergeant, US Marine Corps, 5th Company Born: 5 May 1879, Graysville, Pennsylvania. Accredited to: Pennsylvania.

Citation: In company with members of the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and marine and sailor detachment from the USS Connecticut, Sergeant Iams participated in the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Approaching a breach in the wall which was the only entrance to the fort, Sergeant Iams unhesitatingly jumped through the breach despite constant fire from the Cacos and engaged the enemy in a desperate hand-to-hand combat until the bastion was captured and Caco resistance neutralized.

Ostermann, Edward Albert
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, US Marine Corps, 15th Company of Marines (mounted). Place and date: Vicinity Fort Liberte, Haiti, 24 October 1915. Entered service at: Ohio. Born: 1883, Columbus, Ohio.

Citation: In company with members of the 15th Company of Marines, all mounted, First Lieutenant Ostermann left Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, First Lieutenant Ostermann, in command of 1 of the 3 squads which advanced in 3 different directions, led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos, and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.

Upshur, William Peterkin
Rank and organization: Captain, US Marine Corps. Born: 28 October 1881, Richmond, Virginia. Appointed from: Virginia.

Citation: In company with members of the 15th Company of Marines, all mounted, Captain Upshur left Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, Captain Upshur, in command of one of the 3 squads which advanced in 3 different directions led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos, and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.

Button, William Robert
Rank and organization: Corporal, US Marine Corps. Entered service at: St. Louis, Missouri. Born: 3 December 1895, St. Louis, Missouri. General Order No.: 536, 10 June 1920.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, on the night of 31 October - l November 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemagne Peralte, the supreme bandit chief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing, capture and dispersal of about 1,200 of his outlaw followers. Corporal William R. Button not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and leadership but also unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger when the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of Gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.

Hanneken, Herman Henry
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, US Marine Corps. Place and date: Near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, 31 October-1 November 1919. Entered service at: St. Louis, Missouri. Born: 23 June 1893, St. Louis, Missouri. General Order No.: 536, 10 June 1920. Other Navy awards: Navy Cross with 1 gold star, Silver Star, Legion of Merit.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, on the night of 31 October - 1 November 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemagne Peralte, the supreme bandit chief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing, capture, and dispersal of about 1,200 of his outlaw followers. Second Lieutenant Hanneken not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and leadership but also unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger when the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.

Note: No US Navy personnel were awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Haiti; only US Marine Corps personnel received this award.