Louisianans who were winners of the Distinguished Service Cross, DSC, in WWI
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-not an exact copy-
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K.A.: Killed in Action
D.W.: Died of Wounds
W.A.: Wounded in Action

Harry J. Adams, an Orleanian (Orleans or Jefferson Parish), sergeant in Company K, 353rd Infantry

Abe L. Allen, of Leesville (Vernon Parish), was a corporal in Company B, 28th Infantry, W.A.

Paul E. Blust, New Orleans (Orleans or Jefferson Parish), was a private in Company C, 2nd Engineers

Harry W. Pine, of Bogalusa (Washington Parish), was second lieutenant in the 353rd Infantry

Alex J. Barbier, of White Castle (Iberville Parish), was a private in Headquarters Company, 156th Infantry, W.A.

Dewey Owens, of Point (Union Parish), corporal in Company B, 8th Machine Gun Battalion, K.A.

Benjamin Tubbs, Farmersville (might be Farmerville in Union Parish), was a private in Company I, 356th Infantry, K.A.

Wellmon P. Whaley, of White Castle (Iberville Parish), was sergeant in Company F, 4th Infantry, W.A.

Wortham J. Payne, of Cheneyville (Rapides Parish), sergeant of Company D, 3rd Machine Gun Battalion, D.W.

William A. Black, Clarke (might be Clarks in Caldwell Parish), was a private in Company E, 6th Infantry, W.A.

Captain Marvin Cappell, of the Marines, whose home is at Bunkie (Avoyelles Parish), W.A.

Clarence E. Carroll, of Winnsboro (Franklin Parish), was a corporal in Company I, 107th Infantry, W.A.

Greene Strothers, of Mitchell (Tangipahoa or Sabine Parish), corporal of Company G, 11th Infantry

Tillman Webster, Alexandria (Rapides Parish), private in a machine gun company attached to the 371st Infantry

Wilfred Williams, of Cut (? Parish), private in Company K, 109th Infantry, K.A.

Major General John A. Lejeune, of Pointe Coupee (Pointe Coupee Parish)

From a book titled, Louisiana in the War, Showing the Great Part Louisiana Played in Helping to Win the World’s Greatest Conflict: A Detailed Description of Louisiana’s Contribution to the Nation in its Hour of Need, pages 13-15. Publisher: The Times-Picayune, News Orleans, Louisiana; Publication date: none listed, but believed to be pre-1923. 

Winners of Distinguished Service Cross

All of the Louisianans who responded to the call of country followed the flag of glory where ever it led them. All of them performed their full duty. There are no names from this state on any record connected with dishonor or with failure. Comparatively few reached the front line of fire before the Hun was beaten to his knees, so there was not much opportunity for their quality to become conspicuous at the cannon's mouth. But limited as was their number, and short as vas the struggle after their arrival in the ranks of contact with the foe, they acquitted themselves after the manner of the men of the Pelican State in, every war. Their zeal was unflagging, their daring unceasing, their courage unconquerable. They sought neither acclaim nor reward. They bore the brunt of battle without a murmur, smilingly they gave their lives for their homes and their country. Not all their splendid deeds were noted in the rush of the irresistible advance, but those chronicled typified the matchless mettle of the legion. Thirteen Louisiana heroes received the distinguished service cross, and the plain narrative of the citations is a stirring, thrilling, inspiring story worthy of being preserved as history and heritage.

Harry J. Adams, an Orleanian, was decorated for one of the most extraordinary exploits of the entire war. He was a sergeant in Company K, 353rd Infantry. While in action, at Bouillonville, France, September 12, 1918, he pursued a retreating German into the town. The retreating foe found refuge in a dugout, in which it was evident that there were men available for reinforcement. Adams was alone, and he had to decide immediately whether to go forward or retire. He was at the closed door of the dugout almost as soon as his adversary, fired two pistol shots through the barrier, and called upon the occupants to surrender if they knew what vas good for them. His bravery, coolness and confidence had their effect. The Germans marched out as prisoners. So Adams, single handed and with no help near, captured about three hundred men, including seven officers, probably the war's champion achievement along that line.

Abe L. Allen, of Leesville, was a corporal in Company B, 28th Infantry. He was among the first state soldiers to see actual fighting, participating in the glorious adventure of American arms at Cantigny, May 22, 1918. During the heavy bombardment of the post seized and held by Uncle Sam's boys, he was severely injured by the bursting of a shell. He and two comrades mere buried under the mass of earth torn from the soil. Wounded as he was he remained there under a hail of shell and shrapnel, dug out his almost suffocated and unconscious comrades, and bore them to shelter, before he paid any attention to his own hurts.

Paul E. Blust, New Orleans, was a private in Company C, 2nd Engineers, at the fight near Medeah Farm, October 9, 1918. A comrade lay wounded and helpless in the very heart of the enemy’s unremitting fire, but Black (should be Blust, though William A. Black also received the DSC, see below) determined not to abandon him. So he crawled forward while the machine guns played upon the path and brought his fellow soldier to safety.

Harry W. Pine, of Bogalusa, was second lieutenant in the 353rd Infantry. On October 4, 1918, the regiment was before the town of Haumont, which was being stubbornly defended. In order to effect the capture of the place, Lieutenant Pine took a patrol of eight men and undertook to gain entrance. He worked his way through the enemy outposts and had almost reached his goal when he encountered a German patrol. He unhesitatingly attacked and defeated the foe. Then he made his way through the entire town, captured two prisoners, and brought them as well as much useful information back to camp.

Alex J. Barbier, of White Castle, was a private in Headquarters Company, 156th Infantry. It was at the battle near Bantheville that his extraordinary heroism was noticed. On October 22, 1918, he went over the top with his platoon to raid enemy positions. Early in the action he was painfully wounded in the hand, and was ordered back for treatment. Instead of obeying he kept on with his comrades for twenty four hours until the objective was gained.


Dewey Owens, of Point, sleeps where he fell. He was one of the knightly heroes who turned the tide of conflict at Chateau-Thierry, July 14, 1918. The enemy attempted to cross the River Marne under cover of a heavy rain of lead. Owens was a corporal in Company B, 8th Machine Gun Battalion. He set his gun in position where the foe's fire concentrated, losing some of his men in the exploit. He personally rushed the wounded to succor and came back to his gun. A shell struck and disabled it, but he promptly secured and trained another gun on the Germans. This time all his men were shot down, but he managed to intercept a runner who joined him in continuing to operate the valuable weapon. The gun was struck again, and Owens calmly undertook repairs while serving as a target. The enemy had the range and Corporal Owens was killed before he could put his gun in order.

Benjamin Tubbs, Farmersville, was a private in Company I, 356th Infantry. Near Pouilly, November 10-11, 1918, Lieut. Murphy picked him as one of four men to attempt the dislodging of some enemy machine guns. They located a nest of three and executed a flank attack. They got to within thirty yards when they were discovered and the guns were turned full upon them. The dauntless little company charged into the nests and undertook to overcome the more numerous foe in a hand-to-hand encounter. Tubbs and two of his comrades were killed in the winning fight they made.


Wellmon P. Whaley, of White Castle, was sergeant in Company F, 4th Infantry. Severely wounded in the action near Mont St. Pere, he not only continued to advance but kept far ahead of his patrol. He ran into an enemy patrol which opened fire on him. Standing alone against such tremendous odds, and weakened by the loss of blood, he killed one of his opponents and dispersed the others.

Wortham J. Payne was another machine gunner who left his cross as precious legacy. He was sergeant of Company D, 3rd Machine Gun Battalion. During a heavy bombardment near Very, October 9, 1918, he located a position where his platoon would be less exposed, so he returned to lead his men to the more advantageous post. He carried out the operation without a casualty except to himself. Severely wounded though he was, he directed every detail of the maneuver until it was successfully accomplished. Then he fell from exhaustion, and died on his way to the hospital.

William A. Black  , Clarke, was a private in Company E, 6th Infantry, taking part in the Meuse offensive, November 3-4. An important message had to be sent back, and three successive runners were wounded in attempting its delivery. Black then volunteered, crossed a valley swept be machine gun and artillery fire, waded a river jammed with ice and slush, and reached his goal.

Captain Marvin Cappell, of the Marines, whose home is at Bunkie, was fighting beside the 9th Infantry during that same Medeah Farm, on October 3, 1918. He visited the front line continually, by night and by day, supervised the evacuation of the wounded, personally directed the work of the stretcher bearers, and on several occasions when the firing was hottest, he ran forward under intense artillery and machine gun bombardment and gave first aid to and carried in his wounded men.

Clarence E. Carroll of Winnsboro was a corporal in Company I, 107th Infantry, during the action at Ampiersbach, September 28, 1918. The enemy attempted a raid and the Americans resisted gallantly. Carroll was wounded but kept on fighting. The explosion of a hand grenade blinded him, but he did not quit even then. Passing his gun, to a sergeant alongside he remarked: I can't see; You give it to them! And he remained there encouraging his fellow defenders until the raid was repulsed.

Greene Strothers, of Mitchell, corporal of Company G, 11th Infantry, was assigned to duty with the regimental chaplain. Near Vieville, October 12, 1918, the regiment was ordered into action and Strothers was granted permission to go over with the first wave. Out among the foe he and a comrade constituted themselves a little army to silence some machine guns which were holding up the advance. They not only got the guns, but fourteen prisoners along with the weapons.

Tillman Webster, Alexandria, private in a machine gun company attached to the 371st Infantry, won his cross near Ardeuil, September 29, 1918. With three other soldiers, Webster crawled two hundred yards ahead of the American line, under a rain of machine gun bullets, and rescued an officer who was lying mortally wounded in a shell hole.

Wilfred Williams of Cut[?], private in Company K, 109th Infantry, was given the martyr task of locating and destroying a machine gun nest which retarded progress near Montblainville, September 28, 1918. The duty devolved upon him as point of the selected patrol. He exposed himself fearlessly to draw the enemy fire, and he fell at the first volley. His bravery and sacrifice fired his comrades to rush forward and capture the emplacement.

Among the leaders especially honored by the nation was Major General John A. Lejeune, native Louisianan, who commanded the Marine Corps in France. The distinguished service medal was awarded him with this citation: "He commanded the Second Division in the successful operations of Thiaucourt, Masif Mont Blanc, St. Mihiel and on the west bank of the Meuse. In the Argonne-Meuse offensive his division was directed with such sound military judgment and ability that it broke and held, by the vigor and rapidity of execution of its attack, enemy lines which had hitherto been considered impregnable."

Format by C. W. Barnum