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First Name: Fred

Last Name: Stockham

Birthplace: Detroit, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: New York City, NY
Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 16 March 1881

Date of Death: 22 June 1918

Rank: Gunnery Sergeant

Years Served: 1903 - 1907, 1912 - 1918
Fred William Stockham

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Fred William Stockham

Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Gunnery Sergeant Fred William Stockham (16 March 1881 - 22 June 1918) was a U.S. Marine 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.

Fred William Stockham was born in Detroit, MI, on 16 March 1881. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 16 July 1903 and, over the next four years, served twice in the Philippines, from 26 September 1903 to 28 August 1905, and from 29 September 1906 to 13 January 1907. In the intervening period he did one tour of duty in China. Private Stockham was honorably discharged at New York City on 15 July 1907. Four years later, on 31 May 1912, he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps.

By the time he was again discharged, on 30 May 1916, he had risen to the rank of Sergeant and had served most of his term ashore in Nicaragua. Sgt. Stockham saw combat during the engagement at León, Nicaragua, on 6 October 1915, a little over a month before his departure from that troubled Latin American nation. However, within a week, he had returned to New York City, where on 7 June 1916, he re-enlisted.

By 8 February 1918, Sgt. Stockham was in France and heading for the trenches. Between that time and his death, he served in the Toulon sector, in the Aisne operation, and at Belleau Wood. During the last-named battle, Gunnery Sergeant Stockham displayed the "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty" which later earned him the Medal of Honor.

Gunnery Sergeant Stockham died in France on 22 June 1918. Thanks to the efforts of his former comrades, one of whom undoubtedly was the man whose life his gas mask saved; Stockham was belatedly and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 21 December 1939, over 20 years after his sacrifice.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 96th Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Regiment.

Place and date: In Bois-de-Belleau, France, 13-14 June 1918.

Citation: During an intense enemy bombardment with high explosive and gas shells which wounded or killed many members of the company, G/Sgt. Stockham, upon noticing that the gas mask of a wounded comrade was shot away, without hesitation, removed his own gas mask and insisted upon giving it to the wounded man, well knowing that the effects of the gas would be fatal to himself. He continued with undaunted courage and valor to direct and assist in the evacuation of the wounded, until he himself collapsed from the effects of gas, dying as a result thereof a few days later. His courageous conduct undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades and his conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to all who served with him.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Croix de Guerre (France)


In 1943, the destroyer USS Stockham (DD-683) was named for Gy. Sgt. Fred W. Stockham, USMC.

In 2001, the container & roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Soderman (T-AKR-299) was renamed USNS GYSGT Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017). As of 2008, she was still in service.

Death and Burial

Gunnery Sergeant Fred William Stockham was killed in action on 22 June 1918. He is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Union, Union County, NJ, in Section C, Block 9, Lot 13.

Honoree ID: 1826   Created by: MHOH




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