The five Medal of Honor men mentioned in the title above were Wilcox, Byrd, Miller, Phillips and Stoddard. I hope their names ring a bell.
General Wilcox, while not a Canadian, spent the last few years of his life in Ontario, at Cobourg. His MOH was approved with what, in the US they call a General Order, and this was dated on 2 March 1895 and awarded the medal for actions at the 1st Battle of Bull Run in July of 1861 and almost at the very beginning of the US Civil War. Much more can be read about this famous General at at...http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/07/promotions-from-2nd-lt-to-major-generalover-26-yr-career-earns-medal-of-honor-in-1st-yr-but-has-to-waitanother-34-years-to-get-it.html
Seaman James Stoddard, born at Port Robinson Ontario, also earned a Medal of Honor for bravery in the Civil War during actions at Yazoo City Mississippi on 5 March 1964. More can be read at http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/03/medal-of-honor-awarded-to-sailor-from-near-niagara-falls.html
Naval Machinist George Frederick Phillips from Saint John NB was born on 7 March 1862 and would served on several US warships during and after the Spanish American War, He earned his MOH in Cuba during the famous sinking of the Merrimac in 1898. More about his exploits can be read at... http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/03/7-prisoners-of-war-6-medals-of-honor-then-a-7th.html
Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd died on 11 March 1957. This Virginian and Arctic explorer earned his medal in 1927 for his work in both the North and South Poles. His medal is rather rare as it is the Tiffany type, only used for a very short period of time. More on the Admiral can be found at... http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/02/on-top-of-the-world.html
Harry Herbert Miller was a Seamen in the US Navy with his bother. Both were born at Noel Shore Nova Scotia. Harry passed away on 12 March 1968. Both men and a few others from Canada all earned their medals during the Spanish American War, the brothers actions being during the famous cable-cutting incident in Cuba. Their story is told at... http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/02/brothers-in-life-and-in-arms.html
But it sure has produced lots of pictures of the USS Stoddard that was built in 1943 and named in this Canadian hero's honour. This photo was taken near Bremerton Washington State in 1944. The ship's patch is also shown.
In 1993 The Queen of Canada introduced the new Canadian Victoria Cross, awarded on the same principles as the British Commonwealth's VC, shown on the left. There are slight changes to the new Canadian version on the right. No new Canadian versions have yet been awarded.
Over the past several months I have brought you several stories of Canadian VC recipients. One of these, Fred Tilston, born at Toronto Ontario, earned his VC for bravery on 1 March 1945. His actions were near Uedem Germany, close to the border to the Netherlands. His story can be revisited at... http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2013/06/switches-paper-route-for-ammunition-route-claims-just-inwrong-place-atwrong-time-becomes-national-hero-anyway.html
There are six other Canadian Victoria Cross recipients with connections to the month of March. None of their stories have appeared in these blogs yet but will hopefully be done in the months to come.
The first two of these are also birthday boys, both on 5 March. Robert Spall served with the Canadian Forces (PPCLI) but was born at Ealing, Essex County, England. His bravery near Parvillers France on 13 August 1918 resulted in being awarded the VC. He was born in 1890.
Fellow birthday boy William Hew Clark-Kennedy was born on the same day but in 1879, and while also serving with the Canadians, he was actually born at Dunskey, Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland. His VC was earned for actions on 27/28 August 1918 at the Fresnes-Rouvroy Line also in France.
Thomas Fasti Dinesen died on 10 March 1979. He was born at Rungsted Denmark and served with the famous Black Watch. His bravery was recognized with a VC for actions in France at Parvillers on 27 October 1918, just about two months after Robert Spall, mentioned above.
On 12 March 1930 William George Baker of Dauphin Manitoba passed away. His bravery for actions of 27 October 1918 at Foret de Mormal France earned him the Victoria Cross.
On March 13th in 1978 Canada lost yet another hero when Milton Fowler Gregg passed away. Born at Mountain Dale, Kings County NB, his actions at Canal Du Nord again in France 28/30 Sept. 1918 resulted in his being awarded the VC.
And on 15 March 1890 Jean Baptiste Arthur Brillant was born at Assemetquagan, Routhierville Quebec. He was awarded the VC for his actions during the Battle of Amiens on 8/9 August of 1918 and died the following day.
On Friday I will bring you a story of one of these heroes. It will be not be one you can afford to miss.
see you then,