Higginson, William Paul, 1Sgt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
First Sergeant
Last Primary MOS
0369-Infantry Unit Leader
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1917-1918, 0369, American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
Service Years
1911 - 1918

First Sergeant

Two Hash Marks


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt David A. Stutesman to remember Marine 1Sgt William Paul Higginson.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Rochester, N.Y.

Casualty Date
Jun 06, 1918
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
World War I
Location of Interment
Mount Hope Cemetery - Rochester, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section BB

 Official Badges 

French Fourragere Wound Chevron World War I Victory Button (Wounded in Action)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War I Fallen
  2015, World War I Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments
3rd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (3/5), 5th Marine RegimentUSMC (United States Marine Corps)
  1911-1918, 0369, L Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (3/5)
  1917-1918, 0369, 45th Company, 5th Marine Regiment
  1917-1918, 0369, American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1914-1914 US Occupation of Nicaragua
  1914-1914 Mexican Service Campaign (1911-1919)/Battle and Occupation of Veracruz (1914)
  1914-1914 Mexican Service Campaign (1911-1919)/Battle and Occupation of Veracruz (1914)
  1915-1915 US Occupation of Haiti
  1916-1916 Invasion of the Dominican Republic (Dominican Campaign)
  1917-1918 World War I
  1918-1918 World War I/World War I/Somme Defensive Campaign
  1918-1918 World War I/Aisne-Marne Campaign/Battle of Belleau Wood
  1918-1918 World War I/World War I/Aisne-Marne Campaign
  1918-1918 World War I/Champagne-Marne Campaign/Battle of Chateau-Thierry
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Son of William J. and Bidge H. Higginson, born in 1887.

June 6, 1918 Late afternoon:

"On the left flank of Major Berry's battalion, the 45th Company had already pressed forward with three platoons. Second Lieutenant Thomas H. Miles, in the absence of Captain Conachy earlier in the morning, assembled three platoons of the remainder of the company, left one in reserve and pressed forward into the open field. The company moved parallel to a small cluster of trees to the their left, a finger jetting out towards Belleau Wood, but it would not conceal them from the ferocity of the enemy guns. Almost as soon as they stepped forward, enemy artillery fire blanketed the wheat. With a violent collision that shook the ground and echoed across the rolling pasture, the explosions threw up dirt and debris only to leave a massive charred divot in the waving grains of wheat. Suddenly the bombardment increased. Second Lieutenant Thomas Miles (DSC/NC/SSC), out in front of his advancing platoons came under the barrage. After having advanced a little ways, a shell came screaming in with little warning and detonated nearly underneath the twenty-six year old. The resulting explosion blew him apart. An increasing volume of artillery shells fell among the company as they pushed forward. Private Frank P. Millage remembered standing next to Corporal Carl Stickle(sic), the company officer's mess cook, when a shell landed nearby, killing him.

As the company pushed closer to the tree line of Belleau Wood, the machine guns erupted. Gunnery Sergeant Benjamin Geary (SSC - CdG)saw Charley Frehse knocked back as a bullet went through him. As he staggered another round struck him followed instantly by a third that hit him in the chest before he slumped to the ground. Machine gun fire cut down nearly anyone who dared show themselves. First Sergeant William P. Higginson (DSC/NC) and Gunnery Sergeant Harold Todd(DSC/NC)* also became victims of the enemy machine guns. Corporal Benjamin Strain, who only a few months before stood trial for telling a senior enlisted man to "kiss my ass" barely shifted his focus in front of him when a torrent of bullets struck the twenty-one year old in the head and face, splitting his upper jaw in half and instantly killed him. Men immediately dropped to their stomachs into the wheat in order to escape the sweeping machine gun fire. While men lay prone under the relentless volley, shells continued to land seemingly everywhere."

Navy Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to First Sergeant William Paul Higginson (MCSN: 69889), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the 20th Company, 5th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F. in action at Chateau-Thierry, France, 6 June 1918. Killed in action, First Sergeant Higginson gave the supreme proof of that extraordinary heroism which will serve as an example to hitherto untried troops.

Action Date: 6-Jun-18
(Distinguished Service Cross for same action)


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