Foreign Awards to City Troopers in World War I
By Jack Thomas Tomarchio
So begins the citation for the British Order of Saint Michael and Saint George awarded to Colonel (and former Troop Captain) John C. Groome, No. 906. He represents just one of a number of City Troopers who were decorated for bravery or meritorious service in World War I. The United Kingdom also invested Colonel Groome with the Order of the Bath while France awarded him the Order of the Black Star. Estonia and Imperial Russia also honored Groome with military decorations. Colonel Groome was arguably our most decorated World War I era Trooper although others received impressive gallantry awards.
1LT Frederick Collins Wheeler, No. 1220, while serving as a Marine officer in France received both the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross in addition to the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. France awarded him its Croix de Guerre with Palm. Wheeler’s French citation reads:
“On July 19, 1918, near Vierzy, he led his company to an advanced position in spite of serious losses caused by the machine guns and artillery of the enemy. Although severely wounded he continued his march under the fire of the enemy to indicate to his men the position to occupy. He refused the service of a runner knowing that this man would be exposed to the danger of certain death.”
Major Effingham B. Morris, Jr, No. 1107, later to become Troop Captain was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the French Legion d’ Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, along with the Purple Heart. The citation to Morris’ Croix de Guerre is insightful:
“An admirably courageous officer. While leading his battalion to the attack when a captain, he was wounded in the leg. Surmounting his pain, he remained at his post for the four following days displaying the finest example of abnegation and contribution largely to the success of the operation.”
Morris and Wheeler along with Captain Harry Ingersoll No. 1112 were the three Troopers who received the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor. Other awards were made to Major Barclay Harding Warburton, No. 923 who was made a member of the Order of British Empire and a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order of Great Britain and a chevalier of the French Legion d’ Honor. Major John Houston Merrill, No. 917 was also made chevalier of the Legion d’ Honor while France honored Major Schofield Andrews, No. 1156 with the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star for his service as a staff officer with the 90th Infantry Division during the attack on St. Mihiel. Major William E. Goodman, Jr, No. 1019 was decorated with the French Order of the Black Star.
Fighting on the Italian front, two City Troopers were decorated by the Kingdom of Italy. Major Robert E. Glendinning, No. 949, was made an Officer of the Order of the Iron Crown for his service as commander of the US Army and US Navy Air Services in Italy. Flying bombers against the Austrians, Norton Downs, No. 1170, was awarded the War Cross of Merit before losing his life when his plane crashed into the English Channel on October 23, 1918.
Another pilot, John H. Hunter, II, No. 1250 who later became a Brigadier General in World War II, flew in France where he was wounded and awarded both the French Wound Medal and Engage Voluntaire Medal. William G. Price, Jr, No. 1347 who later became Adjudant General of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard was awarded both the French and Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Major J. Franklin McFadden No. 934, finished the war with the French Legion d’ Honor and the Order of the Rising Sun (fifth class) of Japan. McFadden’s medals along with his American awards are in the Troop Museum collection. While our many of our members earned numerous awards serving in our armed forces, our allies too recognized the valor and merit of Troopers serving in the War to End All Wars.