Memorial Day Weekend is just a week away.
In keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing items that slip through the cultural cracks I’m showcasing a few of the Congressional Medal of Honor winners from the neglected war fought in the Philippines from 1899 to 1902.
HIRAM BEARSS (Correct spelling) – This Captain won the Medal for his actions on November 17th,1901 during a battle at the confluence of the Sohotan and Cadacan Rivers in Samar. Bearss led his men in a surprise attack on the enemy positions in the fortified cliffs. Relying mostly on bamboo ladders the Captain and his troops drove their opposition from their entrenched positions, literally “charging uphill” against enemy fire.
They also had to contend with the countless booby-traps lining the hills, many of which had been in place since the Spanish- American War of 1898. Those deadly traps took the form of pits, poison- tipped spears, trip-sprung vine nets loaded down with literally tons of stones and many others. The opposition in the caves honeymooning the cliffs needed rooting out as well with various forms of death lurking around every twist and turn in the caverns.
Following that Bearss and his men kept up their advance, seizing gunpowder and arms in addition to food and other supplies before driving the enemy forces out of their secondary positions in the cliffs. The U.S. forces had never penetrated so far before. Bearss went on to serve in World War One.
FRANK L ANDERS – Corporal Anders served in the storied unit remembered as Young’s Scouts. He was decorated for actions taken on May 13th, 1899 in Luzon. The Corporal and ten other Americans stormed 300 – yes – THREE HUNDRED – of the enemy and, in a case of truth REALLY being stranger than fiction, they attacked so ferociously they drove their hundreds of foemen into retreat. Continue reading