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William H. Thompkins


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Spanish-American War

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On June 30, 1898 a recon element was landed at Tayacoba, Cuba. This small element came under heavy fire and tried to return to their transport ships, only to find that enemy fire had destroyed their small landing boats. Surrounded and outnumbered, they were at the mercy of the enemy. Four rescue efforts were mounted, all unsuccessful. When darkness fell, Private Thompkins and three other members of the 10th US Cavalry volunteered to land in a small boat to attempt a rescue. Despite almost immediate enemy fire, the four soldiers worked their way through the jungle to locate all members still surviving, directing them to the beach and then returning with them to the transport ship.

(Others involved in this action: Dennis Bell, Fitz Lee, George Wanton)

Read our Story about these Four Heroes at Tayacoba

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