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Marcellus H. Chiles
Born (1895-02-05)February 5, 1895
Died November 5, 1918(1918-11-05) (aged 23)
Place of birth Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Place of death France
Place of burial Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1917–1918
Rank Captain
Unit 356th Infantry Regiment, 89th Division
Battles/wars World War I
 • Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Awards Medal of Honor

Marcellus Holms Chiles (February 5, 1895–November 5, 1918) was an American soldier serving in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I.


Chiles was born in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, to John Horne Chiles.[1][2] He later moved to Denver, Colorado, where his father worked as a lawyer. He was a student at Colorado College when World War I began. After attending an officers' training camp, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in August 1917.[2]

Promoted to first lieutenant in January 1918, Chiles was sent to Europe with the 356th Infantry Regiment, 89th Division later that year. He first saw action at the Saint-Mihiel salient in northeast France in August 1918. On November 3, four days after being promoted to captain, Chiles participated in an advance near Le Champy Bas as part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In command of a battalion, he oversaw an attack against a large German force, leading his men through a waist-deep stream despite intense machine gun fire. Wounded during the water crossing, Chiles continued to crawl after his troops after reaching the stream bank.[1][2] After turning over command of the battalion, he was evacuated to a hospital, where he died on November 5.[1][3] For these actions, he received the Distinguished Service Cross; the award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor the next year.[1][2]

Chiles, aged 23 at his death, is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.[3]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Le Champy Bas, France, 3 November 1918. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: Eureka Springs, Ark. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919.


When his battalion, of which he had just taken command, was halted by machinegun fire from the front and left flank, he picked up the rifle of a dead soldier and, calling on his men to follow led the advance across a stream, waist deep, in the face of the machinegun fire. Upon reaching the opposite bank this gallant officer was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a sniper, but before permitting himself to be evacuated he made complete arrangements for turning over his command to the next senior officer, and under the inspiration of his fearless leadership his battalion reached its objective. Capt. Chiles died shortly after reaching the hospital.[1]

See alsoEdit


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

External linksEdit

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