Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Benjamin

Last Name: Kaufman

Birthplace: Buffalo, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Brooklyn, NY

Date of Birth: 10 March 1894

Date of Death: 05 February 1981

Rank: First Sergeant

Years Served: 1917 - 1919
Benjamin Kaufman

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Benjamin Kaufman

First Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

First Sergeant Benjamin Kaufman (10 March 1894 - 5 February 1981) 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.

Benjamin Kaufman was born on 10 March 1894 in Buffalo, NY, but grew up in Brooklyn, where he lived at 2113 Pitkin Avenue, at the time of enlistment. His mother was Mrs. Anna Kaufman. He was attending Syracuse University when he had to respond to the call to arms and joined the Army in 1917. He was assigned to Company K, 308th Infantry, 77th Division.

Kaufman proved to be a hero almost as soon as he was in combat in France. He became blinded by a gas shell while aiding in the rescue of several of his men. Despite his refusal of medical help, doctors forced him to go to the hospital. Kaufman decided to go back to battle and borrowed a uniform and made his way back to his outfit. Kaufman was faced with a court martial but the charges were dropped. Kaufman received awards for bravery from nine foreign governments. The U.S. awarded him the Medal of Honor for his actions on 4 October 1918.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 308th Infantry, 77th Division.

Place and date: In the forest of Argonne, France, 4 October 1918.

Citation: He took out a patrol for the purpose of attacking an enemy machinegun which had checked the advance of his company. Before reaching the gun he became separated from his patrol and a machinegun bullet shattered his right arm. Without hesitation he advanced on the gun alone, throwing grenades with his left hand and charging with an empty pistol, taking one prisoner and scattering the crew, bringing the gun and prisoner back to the first-aid station.

During World War II, he was Director of the War Manpower Commission in New Jersey. He was also a commander of the New Jersey Council of the Disabled American Veterans of the World War and a National Vice Commander of the National Legion of Valor.

He was the executive director of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States from 1945 to 1959 and a former National Commander of the organization, and for nearly 10 years, he was the Manager of the Trenton office of the State Employment Service.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Croix de Guerre

Death and Burial

First Sergeant Benjamin Kaufman died on 5 February 1981 at the Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, NJ, at the age of 86. He is buried at Fountain Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Trenton, Mercer County, NJ, in Section MI, Grave 5.

He was survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Finkle; a daughter, Rita DeVries; a sister, Jennie Edwards, and two grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 1782   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image