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William F. Lukes



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

lukes_william_ca_citation.jpg (68432 bytes)

Born:  February 19, 1847 at Niderbergdorf, Bohemia

Entered Service in the US Navy from Tientsin, China

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Korean Expedition of 1871 For heroism June 09 & 10, 1871 at Citadel, Korea

Died:  December 17, 1923 at the age of 76

Responding to uprisings in China in 1871 that destroyed the American merchant schooner "General Sherman" and resulted in the murder of its entire crew, six American warships including the USS Benicia were dispatched to Korea in retaliation. After coming under fire, on June 10th a group of 550 sailors and 100 marines were landed to assault the enemy forts. In the assault, Lieutenant McKee of the USS Alaska fell mortally wounded while leading his men. Nearby, Landsman Lukes saw this and, despite the overwhelming number of enemy, rushed forward to rout them. With two other seamen, Seth Allen and Thomas Murphy, Lukes then went to the rescue of Lieutenant McKee, who's body was being dragged away by the retreating enemy. Engaging in desperate hand-to-hand combat with the superior enemy force, both Allen and Murphy were killed. Luke's unconscious body was found by advancing marines. He had sustained 18 spear and sword wounds in the battle before falling unable to fight further.(15 Medals of Honor - 9 Navy and 6 Marines, were awarded over the 3-day period of this action)



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Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner