Calvin John Ward
Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. For actions near Estrees, France.
October 08, 1918
Born in October 1898, in Green County, TN, Ward entered service in Morristown, TN.
Knoxville native James E. "Buck" Karnes and Morristown native Calvin Ward rallied the 117th Infantry in a charge that broke the Hindenburg Line and forced the Germans into a retreat. Both Tennesseans not only received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions but each returned home holding one medal more than the famous Alvin York.
On October 8, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, their company was held up near Estrees, France, by a German machine gun position. As the machine gun raked the line with gunfire, Karnes and Ward decided they had "had all they could take." They fixed bayonets, charged the position, killed three and captured seven of the enemy and their machine guns. This heroic action freed their company to advance against German lines in the war’s last major offensive.