About Samuel Iredell Parker
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Second Lieutenant (Infantry) Samuel Iredell Parker, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on July 18 & 19, 1918, while serving with Company K, 28th Infantry, 1st Division, in action at Soissons, France. During the attack the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 28th Infantry were merged, and after several hours of severe fighting, successfully established a frontline position. In so doing, a gap was left between the right flank of the French 153d Division on their left and the left flank of the 28th Infantry, exposing the left flank to a terrific enfilade fire from several enemy machineguns located in a rock quarry on high ground. Second Lieutenant Parker, observing this serious situation, ordered his depleted platoon to follow him in an attack upon the strong point. Meeting a disorganized group of French Colonials wandering leaderlessly about, he persuaded them to join his platoon. This consolidated group followed Second Lieutenant Parker through direct enemy rifle and machinegun fire to the crest of the hill, and rushing forward, took the quarry by storm, capturing six machineguns and about 40 prisoners. The next day when the assault was continued, Second Lieutenant Parker in command of the merged 2d and 3d Battalions was in support of the 1st Battalion. Although painfully wounded in the foot, he refused to be evacuated and continued to lead his command until the objective was reached. Seeing that the assault battalion was subjected to heavy enfilade fire due to a gap between it and the French on its left, Second Lieutenant Parker led his battalion through this heavy fire up on the line to the left of the 1st Battalion and thereby closed the gap, remaining in command of his battalion until the newly established lines of the 28th Infantry were thoroughly consolidated. In supervising the consolidation of the new position, Second Lieutenant Parker was compelled to crawl about on his hands and knees on account of his painful wound. His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 1 (1937)
Action Date: July 18 & 19, 1918
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Company K
Regiment: 28th Infantry
Division: 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces