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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Adkinson

Birthplace: Egypt, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Memphis, TN
Middle Name: Bernard

Date of Birth: 04 January 1892

Date of Death: 23 May 1965

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1917-1921
Joseph Bernard Adkison

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Joseph Bernard Adkison

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Sergeant Joseph Bernard Adkison (4 January 1892 - 23 May 1965) was a U.S. Army soldier who was awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I.

Joseph Bernard Adkison was born on 4 January 1892 in Egypt, TN, and entered the Army in 1917 in Memphis. By mid-1918, Adkison and his division were involved in combat in France. On 29 September 1918, near Bellicourt, France, Adkison, by then a Sergeant, found his platoon pinned down by heavy German machine gun fire located fifty yards to their front. Acting alone, Adkison charged the machine gun nest, kicked it over into the enemy trench, and used the bayonet fixed on his rifle to capture the three men, allowing his platoon to advance forward.

For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919 and was one of six soldiers from Tennessee to receive that medal during World War I. Another of the six was Alvin York, subject of the film Sergeant York starring actor Gary Cooper.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 119th Infantry, 30th Division.

Place and date: Near Bellicourt, France, 29 September 1918.

Citation: When murderous machinegun fire at a range of 50 yards had made it impossible for his platoon to advance, and had caused the platoon to take cover, Sgt. Adkinson alone, with the greatest intrepidity, rushed across the 50 yards of open ground directly into the face of the hostile machinegun kicked the gun from the parapet into the enemy trench, and at the point of the bayonet captured the 3 men manning the gun. The gallantry and quick decision of this soldier enabled the platoon to resume its advance.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Joseph Bernard Adkison died on 23 May 1965. He is buried at Salem Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church in Atoka, TN.

Honoree ID: 1729   Created by: MHOH




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