John J Kelly
John was born on the 24th of June, 1898, in Chicago, Illinois, and he enlisted in the US Marine Corps at the age of 19 in Port Royal, South Carolina. As a Private, he was with the 6th Regiment in Quantico and on the 19th of January, 1918, they deployed to France from Philadelphia on board the USS Henderson in support of World War 1. John participated in several battles during World War 1 which earned him six Silver Stars but it was his actions during the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge that would earn him both the Army and Navy Medals of Honor. The citations read:
Private Kelly ran through our own barrage 100 yards in advance of the front line and attacked an enemy machinegun nest, killing the gunner with a grenade, shooting another member of the crew with his pistol, and returning through the barrage with eight prisoners.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at BLANC MONT RIDGE, France, October 3, 1918. Private Kelly ran through our own barrage one hundred yards in advance of the front line and attacked an enemy machine-gun nest, killing the gunner with a grenade, shooting another member of the crew with his pistol and returned through the barrage with eight prisoners.
This battle resulted in the expulsion of the Imperial German Army from the Champagne region of France when Allied forces defeated eight German divisions. John received his Medals from General Pershing on the 22nd of January, 1919, while in line with four Major Generals next to him waiting for their military awards. He was honorably discharged from the Marines at Quantico on the 14th of August, 1919, and he lived out his life in Chicago. John Joseph Kelly died on the 20th of November, 1957, at the age of 59 and is buried in the All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Des Plaines, Illinois: Plot 13, Section 2, Row 4, Grave 12.