Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Major Jay Zeamer, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 16, 1943, in the vicinity of Buka, Solomon Islands. His citation reads:
On 16 June 1943, Maj. Zeamer (then Capt.) volunteered as pilot of a bomber on an important photographic mapping mission covering the formidably defended area in the vicinity of Buka, Solomon Islands. While photographing the Buka airdrome. his crew observed about 20 enemy fighters on the field, many of them taking off. Despite the certainty of a dangerous attack by this strong force, Maj. Zeamer proceeded with his mapping run, even after the enemy attack began. In the ensuing engagement, Maj. Zeamer sustained gunshot wounds in both arms and legs, 1 leg being broken. Despite his injuries, he maneuvered the damaged plane so skillfully that his gunners were able to fight off the enemy during a running fight which lasted 40 minutes. The crew destroyed at least 5 hostile planes, of which Maj. Zeamer himself shot down 1. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused medical aid until the enemy had broken combat. He then turned over the controls, but continued to exercise command despite lapses into unconsciousness, and directed the flight to a base 580 miles away. In this voluntary action, Maj. Zeamer, with superb skill, resolution, and courage, accomplished a mission of great value.
Private Hermann Ziegner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 29-30, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek, and White Clay Creek, South Dakota. His citation reads:
Private William Zion (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from July 21 – August 17, 1900, at Peking, China. His citation reads:
In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 21 July to 17 August 1900. Throughout this period, Zion distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
With the 2016 Olympics now underway, I am reminded of one of the best books I have read… The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. If you haven’t checked this book out yet, you need to do so now. It is the best book about rowing you will ever read…