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First Name: John

Last Name: Villepigue

Birthplace: Camden, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Camden, SC
Middle Name: Canty

Date of Birth: 29 March 1896

Date of Death: 18 April 1919

Rank: Corporal

Years Served:
John Canty Villepigue

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


John Canty Villepigue

Corporal, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Corporal John Canty Villepigue (29 March 1896 - 18 April 1919) 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.

John Canty Villepigue was born on 29 March 1896, a descendent of Confederate States Army General John Bordenave Villepigue. Like John Bordenave Villepigue, he was born and raised in Camden, SC. Kershaw County, in which Camden is located, has a rich military history and was home to several war heroes from different wars.

Villepigue entered the Army in Camden, assigned to Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division. While fighting near Vaux-Andigny, France, on 15 October 1918, Villepigue and two other soldiers were ordered to scout through the village of Vaux-Andigny. During their trek through the village, they were ambushed by German machine gun fire, which killed one of his fellow soldiers, and wounded the other. Advancing forward on his own for more than 500 yards, with his platoon left far behind, Villepigue encountered four enemy soldiers manning the machine gun pit. He engaged them with a handgrenade, killing them. Crawling another 150 yards forward, he encountered a second machine gun pit, which he rushed, alone, killing another four enemy soldiers and capturing another six, along with securing two machine guns. He was badly wounded in the arm during this action and later died from the wound on 18 April 1919.

Villepigue was buried near John B. Villepigue in the "Old Quaker Cemetery" in his hometown of Camden. That cemetery also maintains the grave of fellow World War I Medal of Honor recipient Richmond Hobson Hilton; the graves of Civil War Confederate Generals Joseph B. Kershaw and John Doby Kennedy; as well as Confederate soldier and hero from the Battle of Fredericksburg, Richard Rowland Kirkland.

Medal of Honor

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

Place and date: At Vaux-Andigny, France, 15 October 1918.

Citation: Having been sent out with 2 other soldiers to scout through the village of Vaux-Andigny, he met with strong resistance from enemy machinegun fire, which killed 1 of his men and wounded the other. Continuing his advance without aid 500 yards in advance of his platoon and in the face of machinegun and artillery fire he encountered 4 of the enemy in a dugout, whom he attacked and killed with a handgrenade. Crawling forward to a point 150 yards in advance of his first encounter, he rushed a machinegun nest, killing 4 and capturing 6 of the enemy and taking 2 light machineguns. After being joined by his platoon he was severely wounded in the arm.


In 2004 Villepigue was honored by the South Carolina House of Representatives for his heroism during World War I.

Death and Burial

Corporal John Canty Villepigue died on 18 April 1919 from the arm wound he received in France on 15 October 1918. He is buried at the Old Quaker Cemetery in Camden, SC.

Honoree ID: 1837   Created by: MHOH




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