IAGenWeb.org Iowa in the Great War

Distinguished Service Cross Recipients

About the Distinguished Service Cross

Pottawattamie County


     Charles M. Ford, second lieutenant, Company D, 141st Infantry. For extraordinary heroism in action near St. Etienne, France, October 9, 1918. After all the officers of his company had been killed or wounded, Lieut. Ford took command of the company, and with about 24 men advanced beyond the main line over extremely difficult ground, capturing 24 enemy machine guns. Lieut. Ford established his men in a good position, practically isolated from the rest of the line, and manning the captured guns, held the position under heavy machine gun and shell fire for about 60 hours.

Emergency address: Etta M. Ford, sister, 243 Lincoln Avenue, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Residence at appointment: Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)


     Kenneth Gardiner, corporal, Battery A, 10th Field Artillery. For extraordinary heroism in acton near St. Euguene, France, July 17, 1918. Suffering from shell-shock and a wound in the shoulder, he continued to carry messages over shell-swept roads until he was forced to go to the dressing station by his battery commander.

Residence at enlistment; 120 West Oak Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)



      Arthur J. Goetsch, sergeant, Company D, 4th Engineers. For extraordinary heroism in action at Ville-Savoye, France, August 11, 1918. Although his eyes had been burned by gas, he volunteered for duty and assisted in the construction of an artillery bridge across the Vesle River, under constant machine gun and artillery fire, setting a conspicuous example of personal bravery and devotion to duty.

Residence at enlistment: Walnut, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)



      Henry Henderson, second lieutenant, 354th Infantry. For extraordinary heroism in action near Remonville, France, November 1, 1918. When his company was fired upon by a battery of German 77s not more than 300 yards distant, Lieut. Henderson led his platoon at a run through two machine gun nests, which were defending that flank of the battery, and succeeded in capturing the entire battery with the aid of the bayonet.

Residence at appointment: 402 East WAshington Avenue, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)


       Vern Amos Morgan, first lieutenant, 355th Infantry. For extraordinary heroism in action near Beaufort, France, November 4, 1918. Although he was wounded early in the engagement by shrapnel, Lieut. Morgan, after receiving first aid treatment, immediately returned to his company and led it throughout the day. After taking the town of Beaufort he pushed on with his command to its objective through heavy artillery and machine gun fire, 40 per cent of his company becoming casualties.

Residence at appointment: 424 Harrison Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)


    Russell A. Schmidt, captain, 108th Field Signal Battalion. For extraordinary heroism in action near Cumieres, France, October 8, 1918. With a detail of five men, Captain Schmidt was engaged in attempting to lay a telephone line across the Meuse River, when they were discovered and attacked by a superior force of the enemy. Even after being wounded three times, Captain Schmidt continued the unequal struggle, killing one and wounding three of the enemy, until all his ammunition was exhausted and all of his men severely wounded. Believing himself to be mortally wounded, he advanced into the enemy's lines and gave himself up, in order to save the lives of his men. He was recaptured by our forces later in the day.

Residence at appointment: 132 South Seventh Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie co.)



~ source: Official Register, State of Iowa 1921-1922, Twenty-Ninth Number, Military Decorations of Iowans in the World War, pg. 360-376

~ Transcribed and contributed by Sharyl Ferrall for Iowa in the Great War Special Project