Summary

Conflict Period:
World War I 1
Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Gunnery Sergeant 1
Birth:
17 Aug 1878 2
New York, NY 2
New York 1
Death:
14 May 1930 2
Long Island, New York 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Ernest August Janson 1
Also known as:
Charles F. Hoffman. 2
Birth:
17 Aug 1878 2
New York, NY 2
New York 1
Male 2
Death:
14 May 1930 2
Long Island, New York 2
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World War I 1

Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Gunnery Sergeant 1
Military Unit:
49th Company 1

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Sources

  1. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-2013 [See image]
  2. Contributed by bruceyrock632
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Stories

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Chateau-Thierry, France, 6 June 1918. Immediately after the company to which GSgt. Janson belonged, had reached its objective on Hill 142, several hostile counterattacks were launched against the line before the new position had been consolidated. GSgt. Janson was attempting to organize a position on the north slope of the hill when he saw 12 of the enemy, armed with 5 light machineguns, crawling toward his group. Giving the alarm, he rushed the hostile detachment, bayoneted the 2 leaders, and forced the others to flee, abandoning their guns. His quick action, initiative and courage drove the enemy from a position from which they could have swept the hill with machinegun fire and forced the withdrawal of our troops.

Ernest August Janson was born on 17 August 1878 in Brooklyn, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army from that state, served for nearly a decade before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps at Bremerton, Washington in June 1910. Promoted to the rank of Corporal in March 1911, he re-enlisted in June 1914. The following month Janson reported for sea duty on board USS Nebraskaand, in August, was promoted Sergeant. In early 1915 he had temporary duty on board the armored cruiser Montana before returning to the Nebraska and, from October 1916 to May 1917, served ashore at Norfolk, Virginia.

The transport DeKalb took Sergeant Janson (serving under the name Charles F. Hoffman) to France in June 1917 as a member of the first contingent of U.S. ground forces to arrive in the war zone. With a wartime rank of Gunnery Sergeant, he served on the Western Front with the Forty-Ninth Company, Fifth Regiment, Second Division. On 6 June 1918, during fighting near Chateau-Thierry, France, he attacked and drove off an enemy machine-gun unit that threatened the position recently taken by his unit. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, in which he received severe wounds, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army.

Returning to the United States in November 1918, as World War I's active combat came to an end, Janson reverted to the rank of Sergeant and re-enlisted in the Spring of 1919. He subsequently spent seven years on recruiting duty in New York City. Beginning in July 1926 he briefly served at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia. Reinstated in the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, he was promoted to Sergeant Major in August 1926 and placed on the retired list a month later. Ernest A. Janson died on 14 May 1930 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

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