WWI Silver Star group, 1Lt Robert G. Hudson, 354th Inf, 89th Division
WWI Silver Star group to 1Lt Robert G. Hudson, 354th Infantry, 89th Division: Silver Star, split brooch, numbered “35460″, hand-engraved “Robert G./Hudson”, marked “BB&B/Phila” on the suspension; World War I Victory Medal, clasps “St. Mihiel”, “Meuse-Argonne” and “Defensive Sector”, with two bronze stars on the ribbon (a third star has fallen off; the ribbon has been resewn across the back); France Croix de Guerre, 1914-1918, with palm; France Verdun Medal, Vernier design; YMCA medal, gilt, engraved on the reverse “Awarded First/to/Gordon Hudson/Senior/Class Athletic/Meet/Montgomery/YMCA/ 1914″, marked “Rob. Stoll/NY”.
Hudson’s Silver Star resulted from an incident where the details are glossed over in the official citation: “On the night of October 18, 1918, word was received that an officer had either been wounded or killed some distance in front of our most advanced positions in the Bois de Bantheville. He led a patrol on the hazardous mission of searching for this officer and although well aware of the extreme danger of being captured or losing his life, he totally disregarded his own personal safety in his zeal to accomplish his mission.”
The divisional history expands on the incident, characterizing it as “an interesting and unfortunate event.” The 89th Division’s G-3, Lt Col Levi G. Brown, accompanied by his orderly, Private Charles Garrison was out on horseback far in advance of the American lines. When taken under fire by German machine guns, Brown’s horse was killed and Garrison’s horse bolted toward the German lines. Garrison, although wounded and on foot, made it back to US lines, while the Colonel fell into German hands. In spite of his wounds, Private Garrison accompanied Lt Hudson’s fruitless but dangerous rescue mission. Both received Silver Star citations for their actions. Colonel Brown was only a prisoner for a month, but was kept under guard after the Armistice. He ultimately walked out of the prison camp and made his way to Switzerland. He rejoined the division shortly before Christmas.
Hudson’s Croix de Guerre was awarded in French orders “For act in Aug. 1918″. His Silver Star was not awarded until April 1943. In his original description of this group, Colonel Al Gleim commented that “one reason that National Army WWI Silver Stars are so scarce – most of them were not claimed when the medal became authorized in 1932, as the recipients were no longer associated with the military. Additionally, while Regular Army divisions awarded many thousands of Silver Star citations, divisions such as the 89th (although in the top half in casualties) cited very few. In fact, the Silver Star citation was almost equal to the DSC in the 89th Division”. The 89th Division awarded 143 Distinguished Service Cross during World War I, but only 155 Silver Star citations.