William R Button

William R Button

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William was born on the 3rd of December, 1895 in St Louis, Missouri and joined the Marine Corps in 1917. Shortly after joining, he was sent to Haiti and was in command of a group of Haitian military police when his actions would earn him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near GRANDE RIVIERE Republic of Haiti, on the night of October 31 - November 1, 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemagne Peralte, the supreme banditchief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing and capture and dispersal of about twelve hundred (1200) of his outlaw followers. Corporal William R. Button not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and leadership, but unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger, when the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of Gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.

William's Medal of Honor was approved seven months later and was presented to him by General Lejeune on the 1st of July, 1920 in a ceremony in Washington DC. William took a short leave before returning to Haiti where he would develop pernicious malaria. William Robert Button died on the 15th of April, 1921 at the age of 25 at the department hospital in Haiti. He was returned to his home town and is buried in the Valhalla Cemetery in St Louis; section 5S, lot 66, grave 1.

Herman H Hanneken

Herman H Hanneken

Samuel Gross

Samuel Gross