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Born on August 28, 1895 in Holden, Missouri, John Lewis Barkley was given the title of the most decorated soldier in the midwest. He was draftted into tthe U.S. Army in Blairstown, Missouri.
Barkley was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 7,1918 while a Private First Class with Company K, 4th infantry , 3rd division.
Rank: Private First Class
Organization: U.S. ArmyCompany:
Company KDivision: 4th Infantry, 3d Division
Born: 28 August 1895 Blairstown, Mo.
Entered Service At: Blairstown, Mo.
G.O. Number: 44
Date of Issue: 12/31/1919
Accredited To: Place / Date: Near Cunel, France, 7 October 1918
Citation: PFC Barkley, who was stationed in an observation post half a kilometer from the German lines, on his own initiative repaired a captured enemy machinegun and mounted it in a disabled French tank near his post. Shortly afterward, when the enemy launched a counterattack against our forces, Pfc. Barkley got into the tank,waited under the hostile barrage until the enemy line was abreast of him and then opened fire, completely breaking up the counterattack and killing and wounding a large number of the enemy. Five minutes later an enemy 77 millimeter gun opened fire on the tank pointblank. One shell struck the drive wheel of the tank, but this soldier nevertheless remained in the tank and after the barrage ceased , broke up a second enemy counterattack, thereby enabling our forces to gain and hold Hill 25.
His Medal of Honor was personally presented by U.S. General John Pershing. Barkley also received the following medals for his service: the British Distinguished Service Cross; the French Medallile Militaire; the French Croix de Guerre; the Belgian War Cross; the Italian War Cross; and the Medal de Brauere of Montenegro. His World War I victory medal carried six battle clasps.
In 1963 he married Elizabeth Barkley Ozias. She was born on September 8, 1882 and died on September 14, 1969. After the war he was a member of Kansas City police department as a detective.
In Valley Forge there are fifty acres of land with one acre for each state. Each tree there has a plaque 16 by 8 inches on it. One tree has John Lewis Barkley, World War I . When he got out of the service he farmed just outside of Johnson County. He farmed 200 acres of land. He also grew up with two brothers. In the people's eyes of today he is considered to be a man instinctively liked, quiet, unassuming, and modest. John L. Barkley also had attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.
From the Stars and Stripes:
Worked Enemy Gun from Tank
BARKLEY, EDWARD C., private 1st class,
Company K, 4th Infantry; near Cunel, France,
October 7, 1918. Private Barkely, who
was stationed in an observation post half
a mile from the German line, on his own
initiative repaired a captured enemy ma-
chine gun and mounted it in a disabled
french tank near his post. Shortly after-
ward, when the enemy launched a counter-
attack against our forces, Private Barkely
got into the tank, waited under the hostile
barrage until the enemy line was abreast of
him and then opened fire, completely break-
ing up the counter-attack and killing and
wounding a large number of the enemy.
five minutes later an enemy 77-millimeter
gun opened fire on the tan point blank.
one shell struck the drive wheel of the
tank, but this solder nevertheless remained
in the tank and, after the barrage ceased,
broke up a second enemy counter-attack,
thereby enabling our forces to gain and hold
Hill 253. Home address: Mrs. Liona Bark-
ley ,mother, Blairstown, Mo.