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First Name: Harold

Last Name: Goettler

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Service, U.S. Army (1918 - 1926)

Home of Record: Chicago, IL
Middle Name: Ernest

Date of Birth: 21 July 1890

Date of Death: 06 October 1918

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1917-1918
Harold Ernest Goettler

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Harold Ernest Goettler

First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Service

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

First Lieutenant Harold Ernest Goettler (21 July 1890 - 6 October 1918) was a U.S. Army Air Service aviator who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I.

Harold Ernest Goettler was born on 21 July 1890 in Chicago, IL; he also entered into the Army from that city. On 6 October 1918, he was serving with the 50th Aero Squadron near Binarville, France. While trying to air-drop supplies to the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division, his plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machinegun fire from the ground, resulting in the instant death of Goettler and his observer, Second Lieutenant Erwin R. Bleckley. Both men were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Pilot, U.S. Army Air Corps, 50th Aero Squadron, Air Service.

Place and date: Near Binarville, France, 6 October 1918.

Citation: 1st. Lt. Goettler, with his observer, 2d Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley, 130th Field Artillery, left the airdrome late in the afternoon on their second trip to drop supplies to a battalion of the 77th Division which had been cut off by the enemy in the Argonne Forest. Having been subjected on the first trip to violent fire from the enemy, they attempted on the second trip to come still lower in order to get the packages even more precisely on the designated spot. In the course of this mission the plane was brought down by enemy rifle and machinegun fire from the ground, resulting in the instant death of 1st. Lt. Goettler. In attempting and performing this mission 1st. Lt. Goettler showed the highest possible contempt of personal danger, devotion to duty, courage and valor.

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant Harold Ernest Goettler was killed in action on 6 October 1918. His remains were initially interred in France but were returned to the U.S. in 1921. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Cook County, IL.

Honoree ID: 1763   Created by: MHOH




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