BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D. Edward Christopher Allworth, who was born in Battle Ground, Washington is one of the many hero’s that the Washington State can claim as one of their native sons.
Allworth, who graduated from the Oregon Agricultural College in 1916, joined the Army soon after his graduation and was assigned to the 60th Regiment of the 5th Division. In early November of 1918, just a few days before the armistice was signed, he found himself in France near the village of Clery-le-Petit. Heavy shell fire destroyed the bridge that crossed the Meuse River, separating Allworth’s company into two halves. Gathering some of his men and whilst under heavy enemy fire he swam across the Meuse River and proceeded to lead an attack against the enemy, driving them back a half a mile and capturing more than a 100 prisoners. Allworth’s men ultimately captured the bridgehead.
Captain Edward C. Allworth received the Medal of Honor for his bravery and inspirational leadership on November 5, 1918.
Awarded for actions during the World War I
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain (Infantry) Edward C. Allworth, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 60th Infantry, 5th Division at Clery-le-Petit, France, on 5 November 1918. While his company was crossing the Meuse River and canal at a bridgehead opposite Clery-le-Petit, the bridge over the canal was destroyed by shell fire and Captain Allworth’s command became separated, part of it being on the east bank of the canal and the remainder on the west bank. Seeing his advance units making slow headway up the steep slope ahead, this officer mounted the canal bank and called for his men to follow. Plunging in he swam across the canal under fire from the enemy, followed by his men. Inspiring his men by his example of gallantry, he led them up the slope, joining his hard-pressed platoons in front. By his personal leadership he forced the enemy back for more than a kilometer, overcoming machinegun nests and capturing 100 prisoners, whose number exceeded that of the men in his command. The exceptional courage and leadership displayed by Captain Allworth made possible the re-establishment of a bridgehead over the canal and the successful advance of other troops.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 16 ( January 22, 1919)
Action Date: 5-Nov-18
Regiment: 60th Infantry Regiment
Division: 5th Division
Edward Allworth died on June 24,1966 and is buried at Crystal Lake Cemetery, Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon, USA.