On this Day, October 15th   
In 1917 and 1918, Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond K. Ingram and  Lieutenant Colonel William "Wild Bill" Donovan earned the Medal of Honor.

 
October, 15 1917   - USS Cassin (DD-43) torpedoed by German submarine U-61 off coast of Ireland. Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond K. Ingram, USN, (1887-1917)

Osmond Kelly Ingram was born on 4 August 1887 in Pratt City, Alabama. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy from that state as an Apprentice Seaman in November 1903. In the course of his Naval career, he advanced to the rank of Gunner's Mate First Class and, during World War I, served on board the destroyer Cassin. On 15 October 1917, while his ship was operating off the Irish coast, she was attacked by the German submarine U-61. Gunner's Mate Ingram spotted an incoming torpedo and, realizing that it could hit near the depth charges at the ship's stern, he ran aft in an attempt to release them before the torpedo arrived. However, the torpedo struck the ship before he could achieve his purpose and Ingram was killed in the ensuing explosion. For his "extraordinary heroism" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Also noteworthy for being the first U.S. Navy enlisted man killed in action during World War I, Osmond K. Ingram is listed on the Wall of the Missing at the American Battle Monuments Commission Cemetery, Brookwood, Surrey, England.

USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255, later AVD-9 and APD-35), 1919-1946, was named in honor of Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond K. Ingram.

  

October 15, 1918 - Lieutenant Colonel William "Wild Bill" Donovan earned the Medal of Honor while leading his regiment, the 165th Infantry (formerly the 69th New York, the "Fighting 69th" of Civil War fame), 42nd "Rainbow" Division, in an attack to capture a German strongpoint.

 By acts of personal courage such as rallying platoons of soldiers decimated and about to break from enemy fire, he again led them forward. Though seriously wounded he refused to be evacuated and continued to command his men from a bomb crater. Eventually the Americans did have to withdraw after suffering devastating losses. Donovan started his Guard service by organizing his own cavalry troop which then commanded during its tour of duty on the Mexican border in 1916. He then joined the 69th New York just prior to the mobilization for World War I. Even before earning the Medal of Honor, in July 1918, he displayed extreme courage while leading a battalion in its attack on German positions in the Oureq River (called by the Irish of the 69th as the "O'Rourke River") sector. For this action he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (the Army's second highest medal for valor). In World War II Donovan organized and commanded the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of today's CIA. 
William J. Donovan's Citations

 

 
Medal of Honor*
Distinguished Service Medal* (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Distinguished Service Cross*
National Security Medal
Croix de Guerre (with Palm and Silver Star)*
Legion d'Honneur*
Croce di Guerra*
Order of the Crown of Italy
Knight Commander of the British EmpireOrder of St. Sylvester
Purple Heart (with two Oak Leaf Clusters)*
Czechoslovak War Cross
Order of Leopold of Belgium (with Palm)
Lateran Medal
Order of Dannebrog
Royal Order of St. Olav
Order of Orange Nassau
Santi Mali Medal
Polonia Restituta
Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant
Special Collar Order of Yun Hui


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