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George G. McMurtry and the Lost Battalion

By Jack Wood, VI Form

George G. McMurtry and the Lost Battalion

The Medal of Honor is an award issued by the President of the United States that is given to an individual for his or her bravery and selflessness of during war.[1] In World War I, arguably the most deadly and brutal of all wars, there were 122 Medal of Honor recipients in the U.S. Army.[2] According to the award criteria, each one of these men “distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”[3] One of these recipients, George Gibson McMurtry Jr., was a student of the class of 1896 at St. Mark’s School.[4] His military service included acting as captain of Company E of the 308th Infantry of the 77th Division of the U.S. Army during World War I.[5] This infantry division is known as the famous Lost Battalion, a group of U.S. soldiers who were pinned down by German forces in the Argonne Forest in France in late 1918. George McMurtry’s steadfast leadership and courage helped the Lost Battalion survive five days of combat behind German lines. While over one hundred U.S. soldiers died in this engagement, many more would have lost their lives were it not for McMurtry’s ingenious thinking and optimism. (more…)