Chester Howard West was a first Sergeant in the Great War and was awarded a Medal of honor for heroism in France. Back home in the early 1930s he chose Christmas Day to marry his sweetheart. Then he took on work with a large farm owned by the son of a Civil War General who fought for the south.
Fighting apparently was still in the family and the son, while visiting Chester's home, pulled out an old CW rifle. Chester got into a tussle with the son who then shot the hero. He later died at at hospital.
But even at death Chester did not find peace. His grave was in an area that was taken over by another entity and later became overgrown with trees and wild brush etc. For years many would attempt to find the grave. But then along came the boy scout and a crew to chop up a tree thought to have knocked down some markers. Sure enough, Chester's was one of them.
Here is what caught my eye regarding the story...
In another internet story of late I found the statement that "only a few hundred (of the Medal of Honor recipients) are not American Citizens". Regular readers of this column will find this of equal interest. While many of almost 750 non-American born Medal of Honor men went on to later become naturalized citizens, all certainly did not.
Yet another internet site brought some news about conscientious objectors and noted that there were only three who went on to earn the Medal of Honor. They gave the names of Desmond Doss, Thomas Bennett and Joseph LaPointe.
The article perhaps ought to have mentioned the incredible heroism of famed WWl hero Sergeant York and the bravery, and very sad tragedies that struck the Kenneth Kays family. Both were men who tried to enlist under that category but were refused. Regardless they went on to also be Medal of Honor recipients.
I will be telling the Kays story here in the months to come.
The Sgt is wearing his army MOH around his neck while the private has his in upper left corner of the two rows of medals. Both were the navy TIFFANY medal, described in past blogs, as well. The Sgt has his at far left in this picture, while the private's is to the right of his army medal.
Much has been said in this space over the past four years about the 1916-17 purge of medals were close to 900 were cancelled, without lawful justification. Most seem little concerned today with that event. Yet very little time elapsed from the purge actions to the day these five doubles were awarded. Surely some eyebrows must have been raised about this strange situation. One has to be curious about how they seem to have slipped under the wire.
And before I go I want to leave you with two birthday announcements ...of sorts. Here is the first.
Happy belated birthday Abe!
Back on Sunday...