This week’s Medal of Honor hero is one of those rare men, who achieve greatness as a younger man, in this case a 35-year-old recipient of the MOH, only to then go on to a still greater role and achievement as the founder and leader of the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War. Dovovan’s heroism took place in the last weeks of the WWI, when the Germans soldiers were no longer fighting to defend French territory gained in 1914. Rather, their backs were pressed against the German border as they struggled to stop the horrors of war that they had visited upon France, visit their own Fatherland and families.
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Rank and Organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and Date: Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, 14-15 October 1918. Entered Service At: Buffalo, N.Y. Born: 1 January 1883, Buffalo, N.Y. G.O., No.: 56, W.D., 1922.
Citation: Lt. Col. Donovan personally led the assaulting wave in an attack upon a very strongly organized position, and when our troops were suffering heavy casualties he encouraged all near him by his example, moving among his men in exposed positions, reorganizing decimated platoons, and accompanying them forward in attacks. When he was wounded in the leg by machine-gun bullets, he refused to be evacuated and continued with his unit until it withdrew to a less exposed position.