About Calvin J. Ward, Medal of Honor
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Calvin John Ward (ASN: 1307698), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 8 October 1918, while serving with Company D, 117th Infantry, 30th Division, in action at Estrees, France. During an advance, Private Ward's company was held up by a machinegun, which was enfilading the line. Accompanied by a noncommissioned officer, he advanced against this post and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing three and capturing seven of the enemy and their guns.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 16 ( January 22, 1919)
Action Date: 8-Oct-18
Company: Company D
Regiment: 117th Infantry
Division: 30th Division
James Karnes and Calvin Ward were two Tennesseans who served together during World War I . They also both received the Medal of Honor for their actions together during a battle.
Calvin Ward (1899-1967) was born in Greene County and lived in Morristown. He entered active duty during the war with the 117th Regiment from the Tennessee National Guard. James “Buck” Karnes (1889-1966) was born in Arlington, Tennessee, but grew up in Knoxville. He also was a member of the 117th.
During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the two men’s company had been trapped by German machine gun fire. Unable to fire back safely, the unit could not move. Finally Karnes and Ward decided they had “all that they could take.” They fixed bayonets on their rifles and charged the machine gun position under fire. They were able to capture it.
This enabled their company to advance against German forces once again. Both men’s citations state that they “advanced against this post and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing three and capturing seven of the enemy and their guns.”