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First Name: William

Last Name: Turner

Birthplace: Boston, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Garden City, NY
Middle Name: Bradford

Date of Birth: 17 March 1892

Date of Death: 27 September 1918

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1915 - 1918
William Bradford Turner

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


William Bradford Turner

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

First Lieutenant William Bradford Turner (1892 - 27 September 1918) was a U.S. Army officer 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.

William Bradford Turner was born in 1892 at Boston, MA. He lived in Garden City, NY, and attended St. Paul's School there for one year. He was a graduate of Williams College, class of 1914.

On 27 September 1918, Turner was serving in France as a First Lieutenant with the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division. During an attack on that night, near Ronssoy, he and a small group became separated from the rest of their company. Turner led the group forward despite intense artillery and machine gun fire, several times personally attacking machine gun positions which were firing on his men. Although wounded three times, he continued to lead the group forward, capturing and clearing three lines of trenches. After reaching their objective, a fourth line of trenches, Turner was killed while defending the position from a German counter-attack. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor the next year, in 1919.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army 105th Infantry, 27th Division.

Place and date: Near Ronssoy, France, 27 September 1918.

Citation: He led a small group of men to the attack, under terrific artillery and machinegun fire, after they had become separated from the rest of the company in the darkness. Single-handed he rushed an enemy machinegun which had suddenly opened fire on his group and killed the crew with his pistol. He then pressed forward to another machinegun post 25 yards away and had killed 1 gunner himself by the time the remainder of his detachment arrived and put the gun out of action. With the utmost bravery he continued to lead his men over 3 lines of hostile trenches, cleaning up each one as they advanced, regardless of the fact that he had been wounded 3 times, and killed several of the enemy in hand-to-hand encounters. After his pistol ammunition was exhausted, this gallant officer seized the rifle of a dead soldier, bayoneted several members of a machinegun crew, and shot the other. Upon reaching the fourth-line trench, which was his objective, 1st Lt. Turner captured it with the 9 men remaining in his group and resisted a hostile counterattack until he was finally surrounded and killed.

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant William Bradford Turner was killed in action on 27 September 1918. He is buried at the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in Somme, France, in B-13-1.

Honoree ID: 1833   Created by: MHOH




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