DAVID EPHRAIM HAYDEN (1897 ~ 1974). Medal of Honor recipient David E. Hayden was born in Florence, Texas, on October 2, 1897, and grew up working on his family's ranch.
He joined the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps at Houston, Texas, on May 21, 1917, and was trained in San Diego, California, and Quantico, Virginia. Hayden was assigned to the Marine Corps' Sixth Regiment, like many Navy Hospital Corpsmen during World War I, as a Hospital Apprentice.
During the Battle of St. Mihiel near Thiaucourt, France, on September 15, 1918, a Corporal Creed of Hayden's unit was wounded by machine gun fire during an advance. Despite heavy and continuous machine gun fire, Hayden rushed to Creed and administered first aid and carried him to safety. Hayden was wounded during the rescue, but saved Creed's life.
For his actions, Hayden was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster, a War Cross and Diploma from Portugal, and a War Cross and Diploma from Italy. Hayden served as a Pharmacist Mate, aboard the U.S.S. Matoika and at hospitals in Norfolk, Virginia, and France, before leaving the military at San Diego on July 22, 1920.
He became a U.S. Marshal in Los Angeles on January 16, 1934, and served in Los Angeles and San Diego before being transferred to Fresno, California, in 1950. Hayden was married and divorced in the late 1940s. He was awarded twice for superior service with the Marshal's Office before he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. After turning 70, he obtained a six month extension to continue work as a Deputy Marshal. Upon retirement, Hayden estimated he drove more than two million miles during his career of serving court documents and transporting prisoners.
He participated in the burial ceremony of the first Unknown Soldier after WWI, as well as in the burial of the Unknown Soldier from WWII in 1958. Hayden died on March 18, 1974, after fighting a lengthy illness. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Bibliography: "Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor in Texas." Capitol Visitors Center: State Preservation Board of Texas; "David Ehraim [sic] Hayden." Arlington National Cemetery, http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/dhayden.htm; "David Hayden, 76, Dies; Medal of Honor Winner." Fresno Bee. March 19, 1974; Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association, University of Texas, http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles; Official U.S. Military Records, National Personnel Records Center, National Archives and Records Administration.