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Croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis
CroixDeGuerre.jpg
A 1914-1918 croix de guerre. Only the ribbon differs with other croix
Awarded by  France and  Belgium
Eligibility Military personnel only, often bestowed to members of allied countries
Awarded for individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces.
Campaign World War I
World War II
Other wars not fought on French soil
Status Active
Description A bronze cross with swords
Statistics
Established April 2, 1915
Croix de guerre 1914-1918 with palm.jpg Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm.jpg
Croix de guerre 1914-1918 & 1939-1945 ribbons with palm

The croix de guerre (English translation: Cross of War) is a military decoration of both France and Belgium, where it is also known as the Oorlogskruis (Dutch). It was first created in 1915 in both countries and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts. The croix de guerre was also commonly bestowed to foreign military forces allied to France and Belgium.

The croix de guerre may either be bestowed as a unit award or to individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces. The medal is also awarded to those who have been "mentioned in despatches", meaning a heroic deed was performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the croix de guerre was issued to military commands who performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.

Contents

Appearance

The croix de guerre medal varies depending on which country is bestowing the award and for what conflict. Separate French medals exist for the First and Second World War, and the French medals are different in appearance from the Belgian design.

For the unit decoration of the croix de guerre, a fourragère is awarded which is suspended from the shoulder of an individual's uniform.

Because the croix de guerre is issued as several different medals, and as a unit decoration, situations typically arose where an individual was awarded the decoration several times, for different actions, and from different sources. Regulations also permitted the wearing of multiple croix de guerre, meaning that such medals were differentiated in service records by specifying French croix de guerre, Belgian croix de guerre, French croix de guerre (WWI), etc.

Croix de guerre

There are four distinct croix de guerre medals in the French & Belgian system of honours :

Ribbon Awards
Ruban de la Croix de guerre 1914-1918.PNG Croix de guerre 1914-1918 (for World War I service)
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (for World War II service)
Croix de Guerre Vichy ribbon.svg Croix de guerre (Vichy France) (for World War II service)
Croix de Guerre Vichy LVF ribbon.svg Croix de guerre de la Légion des Volontaires Français (for World War II service)
Ruban de la Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'opérations extérieures.PNG Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures (TOE) for wars other than World War I and World War II not fought on French soil[1]
BEL Croix de Guerre WW1 ribbon.svg Belgian croix de guerre (for World War I service)
CdGBel1944.gif Belgian croix de guerre (for World War II service)
BEL Croix de Guerre 1954 ribbon.svg Belgian croix de guerre (since 1954)

The croix was created by a law of April 2, 1915, proposed by French deputy Émile Briant. The croix reinstated an older system of mentions in dispatches, which were only administrative honours with no medal. The sculptor Paul-André Bartholomé created the medal, a bronze cross with swords, showing the effigy of the republic.

The French croix represents a mention in dispatches awarded by a commanding officer, at least a regimental commander. Depending on the officer who issued the mention, the ribbon of the croix is marked with extra pins.

  • Mentioned in Despatches :
    • a bronze star for those who had been mentioned at the regiment or brigade level.
    • a silver star, for those who had been mentioned at the division level.
    • a silver gilt star for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
    • a bronze palm for those who had been mentioned at the army level.
    • a silver palm stands for five bronze ones.
    • a silver gilt palm for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces level (World War II only).

The croix des guerres des TOE was created in 1921 for overseas wars. It was awarded during Indochina War, Korean War, and up to Kosovo War in 1999.

When World War II broke out in 1939, A new croix de guerre was created by Édouard Daladier. It was abolished by Vichy Government in 1941, which created a new croix de guerre. In 1943 General Giraud in Algiers created another croix de guerre. Both Vichy and Giraud croix were abolished by General de Gaulle in 1944, who reinstated the 1939 croix.

The croix de guerre takes precedence between the ordre national du Mérite and the croix de la valeur militaire, the World War I croix being senior to the World War II one, itself senior to TOE croix.

  1. ^ At the time of the Algerian War, Algeria was considered part of France and war actions labelled "law enforcement operations", so soldiers were awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire instead of the Croix de guerre des TOE.

Belgian croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis

Belgian croix de guerre (WWII), or Oorlogskruis
Belgian croix de guerre (WWII), or Oorlogskruis with Palm

The Belgian croix de guerre also included attachments, pinned into the ribbon, to designate the degree of citation:

  • a bronze lion for those who had been cited at the regiment level
  • a silver lion for those who had been cited at the brigade level
  • a gold lion for those who had been cited at the division level
  • a bronze palm for those who had been cited at the army level. A silver palm is used for five bronze ones and a gold one for five silver ones.

The croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis would be referred with the different type of attachment, such as the croix de guerre avec palme et étoile (War Cross with palm and star) or the croix de guerre avec palme et lion (War Cross with palm and lion).

The multiple attached pins can also designate the number of croix de guerre citations earned, but displayed with only one medal. Some soldiers earned more than 10 or 20 croix de guerre citations.[citation needed]

Unit Award

The coat of arms of Leuven, featuring a French croix de guerre. Presumably to commemorate the sacking of Leuven by the Germans in 1914.

The croix can be awarded to military units, as a manifestation of a collective Mention in Despatches. It is then displayed on the unit's flag. A unit, usually a regiment or a battalion, is always mentioned at the army level. The croix is then a croix de guerre with palm. Other communities, such as cities or companies can be also awarded the croix.

When a unit is mentioned twice, it is awarded the fourragère of the croix de guerre. This fourragère is worn by all men in the unit, but it can be worn on a personal basis: those permanently assigned to a unit, at the time of the mentions, were entitled to wear the fourragère for the remainder of service in the military.

Temporary personnel, or those who had joined a unit after the actions which had been mentioned, were authorized to wear the award while a member of the unit but would surrender the decoration upon transfer. This temporary wearing of the fourragère only applied to the French version of the croix de guerre.

United States issuance

In the United States military, the croix de guerre was commonly accepted as a foreign decoration. In the modern age, however, it remains one of the most difficult foreign awards to verify entitlement. This is since the croix de guerre was often presented with original orders, only, and rarely entered into a permanent service record. The unit award was virtually never entered into U.S. records, especially since in most cases it was considered a temporary decoration which was surrendered when an individual departed a unit. An added complication is that the 1973 National Archives Fire destroyed a large number of World War II personnel records, meaning that there are very few sources from which to verify a veteran's entitlement to the croix de guerre.

Today, members of United States 5th Marine Regiment and 6th Marine Regiment, the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, the Army's 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, the 1st BN U.S. 28th Infantry Regiment, and the National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Separate Brigade are authorized to wear a fourragère signifying that brigade's award of three croix de guerre during the World War I, but only while that individual is assigned to the unit. The wearing of the decoration is considered ceremonial and the fourragère is not entered as an official military award in permanent service records.

Notable recipients

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Individuals in World War I

  • Hobey Baker, an American fighter pilot in World War I.
  • Lieutenant (later Temporary Captain) Harold Llewellyn Bassett, Royal Engineers, French Bronze with Palm, Jan 1916? (London Gazette 28 January 1919).
  • Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Melbourne and later Prime Minister of Australia, during the First World War in 1917.
  • Eugene Bullard, wounded in the 1916 battles around Verdun, was awarded the croix de guerre for his heroism.
  • Georges Carpentier, Aviator during the war as well as a world champion boxer.
  • Father John B. DeValles, A chaplain with the Yankee Division, he was known as the "Angel of the Trenches" for his valiant deeds in caring for both Allied and German soldiers on the battlefields of France. Fr. DeValles was injured in a mustard gas attack while attending to a fallen soldier and died two years later.
  • T/Lieutenant Hugh Ravensford Dixon, 121st Field Company R.E. was awarded the croix de guerre with palm for his part in the bridging of the River Lys on 19 October 1918.
  • Thomas J. Evans, part of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. He was awarded the cross on 31 July 1917 after the attack on Pilkem Ridge near Ypres.
  • George L. Fox, awarded the croix de guerre for his service on the Western Front during World War I. He was also one of the Four Chaplains who gave their lives when the troopships USAT Dorchester was hit by a torpedo and sank on February 3, 1943, during World War II.
  • Robert Gauthiot, French Orientalist, linguist, and explorer, interrupted his exploration of the Pamir Mountains in July 1914 to return home to serve as a captain in the infantry. He received the croix de guerre before he was mortally wounded at the Second Battle of Artois in May 1916.
  • George Hedges No.9540, 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment,1914-1918.
  • Frank H. Hullinger, awarded Croix de Guerre for bravery. Also awarded with Hullinger was Earl Sleeth. Both "volunteered under violent bombardment to insure liaison of its advance post, which was attacked by a strong enemy detachment." - cited from The Chicago Tribune, along with the book WITH THE HELP OF GOD AND A FEW MARINES (p. 48-49)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Iremonger
  • Henry Lincoln Johnson served with the 369th Infantry Division, better known as the Harlem Hellfighters or the Black Rattlers, a regiment consisted entirely of African Americans excepting their commanding officers.
  • American poet Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), a sergeant and intelligence observer with the 69th Volunteer Infantry, 42nd Rainbow Division, was posthumously awarded the croix de guerre for service during World War I.
  • Arthur Jefferson Lane, an Australian private in the 60th Battalion, Recommendation date: 30 September 1917 (Polygon Wood), Killed in Action 25 April 1918 (Villers-Bretonneux).
  • Batista Maraglia of the 305th Infantry Regiment was awarded the croix de guerre for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest,France during World War I.
  • William March, American writer, awarded the croix de guerre with palm.
  • Isabel Weld Perkins, awarded the croix de guerre for Red Cross volunteer work.
  • Joseph Edny Powell, awarded the croix de guerre in 1918 by then CIC, later Marshal Pétain, for valor. His company "Le Terrible" was H Company, the first to occupy Germany after breaking the Hindenburg Line in September, 1918.
  • Eddie Rickenbacker, Captain and flying ace of the 94th Aero Squadron, United States Army Air Service, during World War I; also recipient of the U.S. Medal of Honor.
  • Milunka Savić, was awarded the French croix de guerre with palm. She is the only woman in the world awarded with this medal.
  • James M. Sellers, U.S. Marine awarded the croix de guerre for heroism at Belleau Wood
  • Jess William Snyder, Major, United States Army, American Expeditionary Force (the first American unit to enter WWI) was awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm and silver star, concurrently with a Purple Heart and U.S. Silver Star, France 1918.
  • Laurence Stallings, American writer.
  • Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet, was awarded the Belgian croix de guerre.
  • Leslie R. Taber, an American pilot in the Lafayette Flying corp who flew in 1917 as a fighter and bomber pilot. He also served in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator after the US entered the war and won the Navy Cross.
  • Stephen W. Thompson, American aviator, was awarded the croix de guerre with palm. He is credited with the First aerial victory by the U.S. military.
  • Dennis Walaker, awarded the croix de guerre on 22 February 1916 by the French President, the 2nd by HM the King of Belgium on 11 March 1918.
  • Major Frederick Lawrence Wall, Australian Army Medical Corps, served in France during WWI.
  • William A. Wellman, American fighter pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corp awarded Croix de Guerre with two palm leaves, 1918
  • Samuel Woodfill, an American Major in WWI who disabled several German machine-gun nests and killed many enemy combatants with rifle, pistol and pickaxe. He was awarded the French croix de guerre.
  • Alvin C. York was awarded the croix de guerre with bronze palm for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest near the town of Verdun, France during World War I.

Individuals in World War II

Col. Jimmy Stewart being awarded the croix de guerre with palm, in 1944.
  • Desmond J. Scott, a New Zealand fighter pilot and Group Captain who flew for the RAF during the Second World War. He was awarded both the Belgian and the French croix de guerre.
  • Jan Smuts, South African Prime Minister during World War II.
  • George Reginald Starr, of the SOE, during World War II.
  • James Stewart, American actor awarded the croix de guerre with palm in 1944 by Lt. Gen. Henri Valin, Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, for his role in the liberation of France. He retired from the United States Air Force Reserve a Brigadier General.
  • Violette Szabo, a British SOE who underwent intense training and was eventually sent into the field. Her first mission was a success, but during her second mission she was captured. Eventually sent to a concentration camp, she was brutally tortured for information and finally executed.
  • Fernand Van Geert, ship's officer, rescued 12 passengers from a torpedoed Belgian freighter in the North Atlantic. He secured a compass from the burning ship before returning to the lifeboat which he then commanded for 9 days in open waters. His actions and moral leadership were commended.
  • Nancy Wake of the SOE was the highest decorated Allied servicewoman of World War II. Awarded the croix de guerre three times for service with the French maquis.
  • F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, member of RF Section of the SOE during World War II. He was a Special Operations Executive Liaison officer working with the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action (BCRA) of the Free French forces to organise and co-ordinate resistance in both Vichy and Occupied France.

Other

During the First World War a homing pigeon named Cher Ami (Dear friend) saved the lives of many American soldiers by carrying a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle. Cher Ami was shot in the chest and the leg, losing most of the leg to which the message was attached, but continued the 25 minute flight avoiding shrapnel and poison gas to get the message home. Cher Ami was awarded the French 'Croix de Guerre' for heroic service.

See also

External links


Croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis
Awarded by  France and File:Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
Eligibility Military personnel only, often bestowed to members of allied countries
Awarded for individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces.
Campaign World War I
World War II
Other wars not fought on French soil
Status Active
Description A bronze cross with swords
Statistics
Established April 2, 1915

The Croix de guerre (English translation: Cross of War) is a military decoration of both France and Belgium, where it is also known as the Oorlogskruis (Dutch). It was first created in 1915 in both countries and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts. The Croix de guerre was also commonly bestowed on foreign military forces allied to France and Belgium.

The Croix de guerre may either be bestowed as a unit award or to individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces. The medal is also awarded to those who have been "mentioned in despatches", meaning a heroic deed was performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the Croix de guerre was issued to military commands who performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.

Contents

Appearance

The Croix de guerre medal varies depending on which country is bestowing the award and for what conflict. Separate French medals exist for the First and Second World War, and the French medals are different in appearance from the Belgian design.

For the unit decoration of the Croix de guerre, a fourragère is awarded which is suspended from the shoulder of an individual's uniform.

Because the Croix de guerre is issued as several different medals, and as a unit decoration, situations typically arose where an individual was awarded the decoration several times, for different actions, and from different sources. Regulations also permitted the wearing of multiple Croix de guerre, meaning that such medals were differentiated in service records by specifying French Croix de guerre, Belgian Croix de guerre, French Croix de guerre (WWI), etc.

French Croix de guerre

There are five distinct Croix de guerre medals in the French system of honours :

Ribbon Awards
Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (for World War I service)
Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (for World War II service)
Croix de guerre (Vichy France) (for World War II service)
Croix de guerre de la Légion des Volontaires Français (for World War II service)
Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures (TOE) for wars other than World War I and World War II not fought on French soil[1]

The Croix was created by a law of April 2, 1915, proposed by French deputy Émile Briant. The Croix reinstated an older system of mentions in dispatches, which were only administrative honours with no medal. The sculptor Paul-André Bartholomé created the medal, a bronze cross with swords, showing the effigy of the republic.

The French Croix represents a mention in dispatches awarded by a commanding officer, at least a regimental commander. Depending on the officer who issued the mention, the ribbon of the Croix is marked with extra pins.

  • Mentioned in Despatches :
    • a bronze star for those who had been mentioned at the regiment or brigade level.
    • a silver star, for those who had been mentioned at the division level.
    • a silver gilt star for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
    • a bronze palm for those who had been mentioned at the army level.
    • a silver palm stands for five bronze ones.
    • a silver gilt palm for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces level (World War II only).


The French Croix de guerre des TOE was created in 1921 for wars fought in theatres of operation outside of France. It was awarded during Indochina War, Korean War, and other wars up to Kosovo War in 1999

When World War II broke out in 1939, a new Croix de guerre was created by Édouard Daladier. It was abolished by Vichy Government in 1941, which created a new Croix de guerre. In 1943 General Giraud in Algiers created another Croix de guerre. Both Vichy and Giraud Croix were abolished by General de Gaulle in 1944, who reinstated the 1939 Croix.

The Croix de guerre takes precedence between the Ordre national du Mérite and the Croix de la Valeur Militaire, the World War I Croix being senior to the World War II one, itself senior to TOE Croix.

  1. ^ At the time of the Algerian War, Algeria was considered part of France and war actions labelled "law enforcement operations", so soldiers were awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire instead of the Croix de guerre des TOE.

Belgian Croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis

There are three distinct Croix de guerre medals in the Belgian system of honours :

Ribbon Awards
Belgian Croix de guerre (for World War I service)
Belgian Croix de guerre (for World War II service)
Belgian Croix de guerre (since 1954)

The Belgian Croix de guerre also included attachments, pinned into the ribbon, to designate the degree of citation:

  • a bronze lion for those who had been cited at the regiment level
  • a silver lion for those who had been cited at the brigade level
  • a gold lion for those who had been cited at the division level
  • a bronze palm for those who had been cited at the army level. A silver palm is used for five bronze ones and a gold one for five silver ones.

The Croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis would be referred with the different type of attachment, such as the Croix de guerre avec palme et étoile (War Cross with palm and star) or the Croix de guerre avec palme et lion (War Cross with palm and lion).

The multiple attached pins can also designate the number of Croix de guerre citations earned, but displayed with only one medal. Some soldiers earned more than ten or twenty Croix de guerre citations.[citation needed]

Unit Award

, featuring a French Croix de guerre. Presumably to commemorate the sacking of Leuven by the Germans in 1914.]] The Croix can be awarded to military units, as a manifestation of a collective Mention in Despatches. It is then displayed on the unit's flag. A unit, usually a regiment or a battalion, is always mentioned at the army level. The Croix is then a Croix de guerre with palm. Other communities, such as cities or companies can be also awarded the Croix.

When a unit is mentioned twice, it is awarded the fourragère of the Croix de guerre. This fourragère is worn by all men in the unit, but it can be worn on a personal basis: those permanently assigned to a unit, at the time of the mentions, were entitled to wear the fourragère for the remainder of service in the military.

Temporary personnel, or those who had joined a unit after the actions which had been mentioned, were authorized to wear the award while a member of the unit but would surrender the decoration upon transfer. This temporary wearing of the fourragère only applied to the French version of the Croix de guerre.

United States issuance

In the United States military, the Croix de guerre was commonly accepted as a foreign decoration. In the modern age, however, it remains one of the most difficult foreign awards to verify entitlement. This is because the Croix de guerre was often presented with original orders only and rarely entered into a permanent service record. The unit award was virtually never entered into U.S. records, especially since in most cases it was considered a temporary decoration which was surrendered when an individual departed a unit. An added complication is that the 1973 National Archives Fire destroyed a large number of World War II personnel records, meaning that there are very few sources from which to verify a veteran's entitlement to the Croix de guerre.

Today, members of United States 5th Marine Regiment and 6th Marine Regiment, the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, the Army's 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, the 1st BN U.S. 28th Infantry Regiment, and the National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Separate Brigade are authorized to wear a fourragère signifying that brigade's award of three Croix de guerre during the World War I, but only while that individual is assigned to the unit. The wearing of the decoration is considered ceremonial and the fourragère is not entered as an official military award in permanent service records.

Notable recipients

Individuals in World War I

  • Hobey Baker, an American fighter pilot.
  • Lieutenant (later Temporary Captain) Harold Llewellyn Bassett, Royal Engineers, French Bronze with Palm, Jan 1916? (London Gazette 28 January 1919).
  • Bl. Daniel Brottier, beatus in the Roman Catholic Church; acted as a military chaplain during the war.
  • Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Melbourne and later Prime Minister of Australia, in 1917.
  • Eugene Bullard, wounded in the 1916 battles around Verdun, was awarded the Croix de guerre for his heroism.
  • Georges Carpentier, Aviator during the war as well as a world champion boxer.
  • Father John B. DeValles, A chaplain with the Yankee Division, he was known as the "Angel of the Trenches" for his valiant deeds in caring for both Allied and German soldiers on the battlefields of France. Fr. DeValles was injured in a mustard gas attack while attending to a fallen soldier and died two years later.
  • T/Lieutenant Hugh Ravensford Dixon, 121st Field Company R.E. was awarded the Croix de guerre with palm for his part in the bridging of the River Lys on 19 October 1918.
  • Thomas J. Evans, part of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. He was awarded the cross on 31 July 1917 after the attack on Pilkem Ridge near Ypres.
  • Dorothie Feilding, a British volunteer nurse awarded the Croix de guerre for bravery in the field.
  • George L. Fox, awarded the Croix de guerre for his service on the Western Front. He was also one of the Four Chaplains who gave their lives when the troopships USAT Dorchester was hit by a torpedo and sank on February 3, 1943, during World War II.
  • Robert Gauthiot, French Orientalist, linguist, and explorer, interrupted his exploration of the Pamir Mountains in July 1914 to return home to serve as a captain in the infantry. He received the Croix de guerre before he was mortally wounded at the Second Battle of Artois in May 1916.
  • George Hedges No.9540, 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment,1914-1918.
  • Frank H. Hullinger, awarded Croix de Guerre for bravery. Also awarded with Hullinger was Earl Sleeth. Both "volunteered under violent bombardment to insure liaison of its advance post, which was attacked by a strong enemy detachment." - cited from The Chicago Tribune, along with the book WITH THE HELP OF GOD AND A FEW MARINES (p. 48-49)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Iremonger
  • Henry Lincoln Johnson served with the 369th Infantry Division, better known as the Harlem Hellfighters or the Black Rattlers, a regiment consisted entirely of African Americans excepting their commanding officers.
  • American poet Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918), a sergeant and intelligence observer with the 69th Volunteer Infantry, 42nd Rainbow Division, was posthumously awarded the Croix de guerre for service.
  • Arthur Jefferson Lane, an Australian private in the 60th Battalion, Recommendation date: 30 September 1917 (Polygon Wood), Killed in Action 25 April 1918 (Villers-Bretonneux).
  • Charles Lolah, a Passamaquoddy Indian from Pleasant Point reservation, Maine, who heroically fought and died in the Battle of Xivray-Marvoisin on 16 June 1918.
  • Henri de Lubac, a Roman Catholic Jesuit novice serving in the Third Infantry Regiment, who was severely wounded in the head on 1 November 1917 while fighting near Verdun. He later became an influential Catholic theologian and Cardinal.
  • Batista Maraglia of the 305th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Croix de guerre for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest, France.
  • William March, American writer, awarded the Croix de guerre with palm.
  • Lawrence Dominic McCarthy, was also an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
  • Harry Morton, Lieut. Colonel, 1st and 15th Bns Sherwood Foresters DSO MC, awarded for many brilliant military qualities and exceptional services in Flanders during September and October 1917.
  • Isabel Weld Perkins, awarded the Croix de guerre for Red Cross volunteer work.
  • Joseph Edny Powell, awarded the Croix de guerre in 1918 by then CIC, later Marshal Pétain, for valor. His company "Le Terrible" was H Company, the first to occupy Germany after breaking the Hindenburg Line in September, 1918.
  • Eddie Rickenbacker, Captain and flying ace of the 94th Aero Squadron, United States Army Air Service, during World War I; also recipient of the U.S. Medal of Honor.
  • James E. Rieger, Major (later Colonel), led a key attack during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross
  • Milunka Savić, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 with Palm. She is the only woman in the world awarded with this medal for service in World War I.
  • James M. Sellers, U.S. Marine awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroism at Belleau Wood
  • Jess William Snyder, Major, United States Army, American Expeditionary Force (the first American unit to enter WWI) was awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm and silver star, concurrently with a Purple Heart and U.S. Silver Star, France 1918.
  • Laurence Stallings, American writer.
  • Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet, was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
  • Leslie R. Taber, an American pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corps who flew in 1917 as a fighter and bomber pilot. He also served in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator after the US entered the war and won the Navy Cross.
  • John Tovey, Royal Navy, later became a senior naval commander and an Admiral of the Fleet.
  • Stephen W. Thompson, American aviator, was awarded the Croix de guerre with palm. He is credited with the first aerial victory by the U.S. military.
  • Dennis Walaker, awarded the Croix de Guerre on 22 February 1916 by the French President, the 2nd by HM the King of Belgium on 11 March 1918.
  • Major Frederick Lawrence Wall, Australian Army Medical Corps, served in France during WWI.
  • Edwin "Pa" Watson, served in France. Earning the U.S. Army Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre from the French government.
  • William A. Wellman, American fighter pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corp awarded Croix de Guerre with two palm leaves, 1918
  • Samuel Woodfill, an American Major who disabled several German machine-gun nests and killed many enemy combatants with rifle, pistol and pickaxe. He was awarded the French Croix de guerre.
  • Alvin C. York was awarded the Croix de guerre with bronze palm for his valor in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest near the town of Verdun, France.

William Henry Galpin was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery in agreeing to continue helping local villagers bring in the harvest in Marseille, France, despite being under enemy shelling. A shell exploded over him, and the medal was sent home to his mother.

Individuals in World War II

being awarded the Croix de guerre with palm, in 1944.]]
  • Desmond J. Scott, a New Zealand fighter pilot and Group Captain who flew for the RAF. He was awarded both the Belgian and the French Croix de guerre.
  • Jan Smuts, South African Prime Minister.
  • George Reginald Starr, of the SOE.
  • James Stewart, American actor awarded the Croix de guerre with palm in 1944 by Lt. Gen. Henri Valin, Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, for his role in the liberation of France. He retired from the United States Air Force Reserve a Brigadier General.
  • Violette Szabo, a British SOE who underwent intense training and was eventually sent into the field. Her first mission was a success, but during her second mission she was captured. Eventually sent to a concentration camp, she was brutally tortured for information and finally executed.
  • Fernand Van Geert, ship's officer, rescued 12 passengers from a torpedoed Belgian freighter in the North Atlantic. He secured a compass from the burning ship before returning to the lifeboat which he then commanded for 9 days in open waters. His actions and moral leadership were commended.
  • Nancy Wake of the SOE was the highest decorated Allied servicewoman of the war. Awarded the Croix de guerre three times for service with the French maquis.
  • F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, member of RF Section of the SOE. He was a Special Operations Executive Liaison officer working with the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action (BCRA) of the Free French forces to organise and co-ordinate resistance in both Vichy and Occupied France.
  • Frank Harding Burchell, surgeon of the USS McLanahan received the Croix de guerre for saving the lives of his crew by performing emergency surgery after his ship the USS McLanahan was hit by a large caliber projectile fired by a shore battery which exploded 20 to 40 feet off her port quarter off the coast of San Remo, Italy in 1945.
  • Tony Rao US Army 94th infantry division

Other

During the First World War a homing pigeon named Cher Ami (Dear friend) saved the lives of many American soldiers by carrying a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle. Cher Ami was shot in the chest and the leg, losing most of the leg to which the message was attached, but continued the 25 minute flight avoiding shrapnel and poison gas to get the message home. Cher Ami was awarded the French 'Croix de Guerre' for heroic service.[citation needed]

See also

External links


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