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Hospital Apprentice First Class David Hayden

Date of Award: September 15, 1918
Conflict: World War I
Branch: U.S. Navy

Hospital Apprentice First Class David Hayden portraitOn September 12, 1918, Allied forces had recaptured Thiaucourt, France, from the Germans and set up aid stations in the local hospital there. The commanding officer of the 6th Marines had the impression that Xammes, France, was in the hands of the Allies, so he ordered a group of corpsmen to set up an advanced aid station in this town. Hospital Apprentice First Class David Hayden and four others made the difficult trip from Thiaucourt to Xammes. Despite machine-gun fire and exploding shells, the men reached their destination.

On September 15, while attempting to cross an open field, a young corporal was hit by enemy machine-gun fire. Hayden saw him fall, grabbed his aid kit and defied bullets and exploding grenades to reach him. Realizing that his comrade’s wounds were very serious, he dressed them on the field in the midst of heavy fire. The Marines who witnessed this action saw a corpsman who put his own life at risk to save another.

Citation: “By his extraordinary courage, steadfast perseverance, and total devotion to duty, Petty Officer Hayden reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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