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First Name: Nels

Last Name: Wold

Birthplace: Winger, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Minnewaukan, ND
Middle Name: T.

Date of Birth: 24 December 1895

Date of Death: 26 September 1918

Rank: Private

Years Served:
Nels T. Wold

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Nels T. Wold

Private, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Private Nels T. Wold (24 December 1895 - 26 September 1918) was a U.S. Army soldier 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.

Nels T. Wold was born on 24 December 1895 in Winger, MN. He joined the Army from Minnewaukan, ND, and served as a Private in Company I, 138th Infantry Regiment, 35th Division. At the start of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on 26 September 1918, his battalion was tasked with capturing the French village of Cheppy. Wold's platoon, at the battalion's far left flank, was to act as a communication link between the battalion and the neighboring 137th Infantry Regiment. However, thick fog caused the platoon to lose contact with both the 137th and its own battalion immediately after the advance on Cheppy began. The platoon continued forward as a combat patrol until encountering a group of American scouts led by Lieutenant John Wingate. Wingate combined the two groups and led them behind German lines, with the intention of attacking the Germans from the rear and thus clearing the way for the American advance.

Upon reaching the German rear outside Cheppy, with the fog lifted, the group began destroying enemy positions one at a time. One well-placed machine gun nest, located in a clump of bushes, was deemed too dangerous to attack head-on. Wold asked for and received permission to crawl up to the position and investigate. While the rest of the group took cover, he crept up to the rear of the emplacement, killed two occupants, and captured the remaining three. As the group continued on, clearing ambuscades, sniper posts, and gun emplacements, Wold volunteered four more times to single-handedly attack machine gun nests. He was successful each time except the last. He was killed by machine gun fire while penetrating a camouflage screen which concealed the fifth emplacement. His comrades then charged the position, killed the occupants and recovered Wold's body.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 138th Infantry, 35th Division.

Place and date: Near Cheppy, France, 26 September 1918.

Citation: He rendered most gallant service in aiding the advance of his company, which had been held up by machinegun nests, advancing, with 1 other soldier, and silencing the guns, bringing with him, upon his return, 11 prisoners. Later the same day he jumped from a trench and rescued a comrade who was about to be shot by a German officer, killing the officer during the exploit. His actions were entirely voluntary, and it was while attempting to rush a 5th machinegun nest that he was killed. The advance of his company was mainly due to his great courage and devotion to duty.

Death and Burial

Private Nels T. Wold was killed in action on 26 September 1918. He is buried at Elim Cemetery at his birthplace of Winger, MN.

Honoree ID: 1843   Created by: MHOH




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