Medal of Honor Roll Call: George G. McMurtry Jr.
Over the next few months we will be taking a look at a few of our ‘favorite’ awardees. I’ll start this out with one of my own personal favorites and open it up to you, dear readers. Send the name of your awardee in care of the editor of this paper, along with an explanation as to why their story means that much to you and a little about yourself, and he will then forward it to me. In the end, depending on response, I’ll pick a few and feature them here.
Here’s YOUR chance to be a part of these wonderful and inspirational stories, so let’s hear what you have to say!
Make the most of your day!
GEORGE GIBSON McMURTRY
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, 308th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: Charlevaux, in the forest of Argonne, France, 2-October 8, 1918. Entered service at: New York, New York. Born: November 6, 1876, Pittsburgh, Pa
Citation: Commanded a battalion which was cut off and surrounded by the enemy and although wounded in the knee by shrapnel on 4 October and suffering great pain, he continued throughout the entire period to encourage his officers and men with a resistless optimism that contributed largely toward preventing panic and disorder among the troops, who were without food, cut off from communication with our lines. On 4 October during a heavy barrage, he personally directed and supervised the moving of the wounded to shelter before himself seeking shelter. On 6 October he was again wounded in the shoulder by a German grenade, but continued personally to organize and direct the defense against the German attack on the position until the attack was defeated. He continued to direct and command his troops, refusing relief, and personally led his men out of the position after assistance arrived before permitting himself to be taken to the hospital on 8 October. During this period the successful defense of the position was due largely to his efforts.
Prior to World War I, McMurtry was at Harvard, but left to fight with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, participating in the charge up San Juan Hill. Following his return to the States, he returned to Harvard College and would later make millions
in the stock market. He also hosted Lost Battalion Survivors reunions for years, paying for them out of his own pocket. Even after his death, in 1958, his estate continued to pay for the reunions until the last one was held around 1965. His former home, now part of The Bayview Inn complex, is a fine bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine. During the time he resided in Bar Harbor, McMurtry was rumored to be the most foul tempered man in the community!