The following stories were taken from the Andover News in 1919.
The following articles are of two men, one from this area and the other from Ohio, but his brother lived in Andover. They both were very special soldiers and deserve to be recognized once more. Here are their heroic stories.
OWEN F. DUFFY CITED FOR BRAVERY
Mr. And Mrs. Owen Duffy of Elm Valley have received the following from their son, who is still in France with Uncle Sam’s Army. The communication tells its own story, which in one that brings pride to the hearts of the young man’s friends here, and honor to the young man himself.
“Headquarters 82nd Div., American E. F. France”--
13 January 1919
General Order No. 1 Extract.
Private Owen F. Duffy, Co. K, 325th Infantry
On October 16, 1918, near St. Juvin, France, Private Duffy, together with a comrade, voluntarily, went out into “No Man’s Land,” and under heavy enemy fire, brought in eight wounded comrades, who were helpless and exposed to this fire. In order to perform this heroic act it was necessary to make several trips into “No Man’s Land.”
“The commanding General takes particular pride in announcing to the command these fine examples of courage and self-sacrifice. Such deeds are evidence of that spirit of heroism which is innate in the highest type of the American soldier, and responds unfailingly to the call of duty wherever or whenever it may come.
Chief of Staff.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS FOR PRIVATE DUFFY
Private Owen F. Duffy whose discharge from the United States Army, and return home to Elm Valley a few weeks ago is one of the few soldiers who received the Distinguished Service Cross, and he has been so modest about it that very few of his townsmen were acquainted with the fact.
His certificate announcing the fact, is a parchment about fifteen inches square and signed by General Pershing himself. It is a handsome document, and reads as follows:
“Expeditionary Forces. Private Owen F. Duffy, Company K, 325th Infantry, distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with the military operations against and armed enemy of the United Sates at J. Juvin, France, on 16 October, 1918, and in recognition of his gallant conduct I have awarded him in name of the President, the Distinguished Service Cross.
Awarded on 5 May, 1919
John J. Pershing
Around the outer edge of this valuable document are printed the names of the battles in which private Duffy was engaged, as follows:
Chateau Thierry, The Marne, Cieges, Juniny, Finnes, St. Mihiel, Beaumoat, Nontsec, Vigeneulles, Thiaucourt, Seichepery, Antigny, Bellau, Bouresches, Vaux, The Argonne, Mountfaucon, Grandpre, Buncncy, and Sedan.
Private Duffy is too modest to tell what he actually did, for publication, to merit this distinction, but if you catch him all on the quiet, when he is in a talkative mood, perhaps he will put you wise to some of it. This is an honor honestly earned, and he is justly proud of it. The best of all is that he escaped serious wounds, though he was “nicked” by shrapnel in three different places.
It should be noted here that the Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest award given out for bravery. He also received the Purple Heart for his wounds.
A book was published about all of the soldiers that won the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I; its title is “Heroes All” and was written by Harry R. Stringer. On page 133 you can read about Private Owen F. Duffy and his act of heroism.
Owen Duffy Services In Angelica Friday
Was Winner of the Distinguished Service Cross
Angelica, Nov. 19, 1947: Owen Francis Duffy, veteran of World War I died at the Veterans Administration hospital in Bath yesterday morning following a long illness.
Mr. Duffy was born in Wellsville August 19, 1892.
Survivors include: his wife, Mrs. Catherine Duffy, Angelica; six children, Miss Rita Duffy, Hornell; Jack, Owen Jr.; James, Mary and Ann, all of Angelica; four brothers, James, Patrick, Bernard and John all of Wellsville, and one sister, Miss Catherine Duffy, Wellsville.
A member of Hill Warner Post American Legion in Angelica, Mr. Duffy served one year and eight months during World War I. He was wounded and received the Purple Heart and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest decoration for gallantry in action. He also was presented with a presidential citation.
Funeral services will be held in the Sacred Heart Church in Angelica Friday morning at 10 o’clock. The Rev. Daniel McCarthy will officiate and burial will be made in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Wellsville.
PRIVATE FULKERSON WEARS MODESTLY THE FRENCH DISTINGUISHED SERVICE BADGE
Pvt. Chase Fulkerson of Camp Sheridan Ohio, who has been passing a few days furlough with his brother, Clark Fulkerson of Andover, returned to camp yesterday.
Pvt. Fulkerson is a veteran of the world war only being home from France a few weeks. He is the most messed up man we have seen returning from the war and yet one of the most cheerful. He was wounded at the second battle of the Marne, lay in the hospital for six days unattended because they thought him dead. He was gassed and had pneumonia and the effects, but is still alive and able to enjoy a visit with his brother and has attended the several welcome home receptions to the soldiers given in Andover this week.
It has been almost impossible to get him to talk about himself. He is modest and retiring and tries to make light of the big part he has taken in the world war. The news reporter, however quietly drew from him a few facts that are mighty interesting. He was decorated for bravery by the French Government and wears the Distinguished Honor badge on his shoulder.
This distinguished honor badge was presented him for particular bravery in action. He, with two others volunteered to go over to the German lines and destroy the camouflage concealing a particular nasty bunch of machine guns. They went in the dark, carefully crawling right up to the guns of the enemy, poured kerosene oil on the camouflage and set it on fire. The light from the fire of course exposed them to view of the enemy, and they were treated to a very warm time before finally reaching their own lines, slightly wounded. The French immediately decorated them for their gallantry.
Pvt. Fulkerson bears the evidence of his strenuous service on his body. He has 123 scars on his body from the effects of shrapnel and machine gun bullets. He has lost his left eye, has his jaw broken and was left for dead for several days, yet, he says he didn’t do much worth telling.
There is nothing too good for our country to bestow upon our heroes who fought in France.
JUNE 1st 1920
OVERSEAS VETERAN CALLED BY DEATH
Hero of Bellau Wood Dies on Day “Buddies” Pay Tribute to Comrades, Wounds Hasten Death
Chase Elmore Fulkerson, overseas veteran and member of the fighting 146th Infantry, composed principally of Akron boys, died at noon Sunday, at the home of his parents, in Springfield Center, Ohio, the same day on which his “Buddies” were honoring the memory of his comrades now lying under the sun on the field of honor.
Complications, resulting from injuries received in a German gas attack in Bellau Woods in the fierce fighting there in 1917 caused his death. He made a wonderful fight overseas, but his brave fight for his own life was a losing one. The poisonous gas had penetrated his whole system, and some weeks ago the doctors gave up hope.
Fulkerson enlisted in Akron in June 1917. He was then nineteen years old, one of the youngest soldiers from this city in the war. He saw service in the Bellau Woods, Chauteau Thierry and on the Alsace-Larraine sector, where he served for thirty-two days without getting a scratch.
In order to support the line of Communications, his unit was ordered on the last day to hold their position at any cost. Orders came later to retire at daylight, but these were delayed, and they were caught in the open without any protection.
Every member of the detail in charge of the emplacement was wounded, Fulkerson’s injuries being the most serious. When he came out of the hospital he had lost the sight of one eye and bore an ugly scar on his face.
Fulkerson was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery in burning camouflage in “No Man’s Land.” He also received the highest praise from his commanding officer for his part in the Bellau Woods fight.
Fulkerson was born in Springfield Center, December 17, 1897. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Fulkerson, three brothers and three sisters.
Funeral service will be held at Springfield Center, tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock.
Submitted by William A. Greene, 2005.