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First Name: Richmond

Last Name: Hilton

Birthplace: Westville, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Westville, SC
Middle Name: Hobson

Date of Birth: 08 October 1898

Date of Death: 1933

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Richmond Hobson Hilton

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Richmond Hobson Hilton

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Sergeant Richmond Hobson Hilton (8 October 1898 - 1933) was a U.S. Army soldier who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I. He was the first of two men from Kershaw County, SC, to be awarded the Medal during that war.

Richmond Hobson Hilton was born on 8 October 1898 in Westville, SC. He joined the Army in Westville and was eventually assigned to Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division. On 11 October 1918, while fighting near Brancourt, France, Hilton's unit was held up by intense machine gun and small arms fire. Sgt. Hilton recognized that the machine gun fire was coming from a shell crater just ahead of them. Accompanied by several other soldiers, but moving out well ahead of them, Sgt. Hilton engaged the machine gun, using his rifle until his ammunition ran out, then using his pistol, killing six German soldiers, and capturing ten others. In the course of this action he was wounded by an exploding shell, which resulted in the loss of an arm. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division.

Place and date: At Brancourt, France, 11 October 1918.

Citation: While Sgt. Hilton's company was advancing through the village of Brancourt it was held up by intense enfilading fire from a machinegun. Discovering that this fire came from a machinegun nest among shell holes at the edge of the town, Sgt. Hilton, accompanied by a few other soldiers, but well in advance of them, pressed on toward this position, firing with his rifle until his ammunition was exhausted, and then with his pistol, killing 6 of the enemy and capturing 10. In the course of this daring exploit he received a wound from a bursting shell, which resulted in the loss of his arm.

After his discharge from the Army, he returned home to Kershaw County a hero. He joined the Civitan Club of Columbia, of which he was a proud member. When asked why he was a Civitan, Hilton replied:

"Because, in its expressed aims and purposes, Civitan represents a splendid group of men 'carrying on' to victory in the greatest battles of peace time needs."

"Because I feel that no man has a right to be a parasite upon his community. Civitan gives every man worthy of its membership an opportunity to serve through organized and collective effort. That is why I am a Civitan."

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Distinguished Conduct Medal (Great Britain)
Medaille Militaire (France)
Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)
Croce di Guerre (Italy)
War Cross (Portugal)
Bravery Medal (Montenegro)

Death and Burial

Sergeant Richmond Hobson Hilton died in 1933. He is buried at "Old Quaker Cemetery" in Camden, SC.

That is also the cemetery in which World War I Medal of Honor recipient John Canty Villepigue is buried. Hilton and Villepigue were both assigned to Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division. The actions for which Villepigue was awarded his Medal of Honor took place four days later, on 15 October 1918, and resulted in injuries from which he would later die.

The "Old Quaker Cemetery" also contains the graves of Civil War Confederate Army Generals John Doby Kennedy and Joseph B. Kershaw, as well as Civil War hero Richard Rowland Kirkland.

Honoree ID: 1774   Created by: MHOH




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