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Matej Kocak

Date of birth: December 31, 1882
Date of death: October 4, 1918
Burial location: Romagne Meuse, France
Place of Birth: Austria, Egbell
Home of record: New York New York
Status: KIA

Sergeant Kocak was initially awarded the Army Medal of Honor, and subsequently was awarded the Navy Medal of Honor for the same act. He is one of five Marines to receive BOTH in World War I. He was killed in action in a separate incident at Blanc Mont Ridge on October 4, 1918.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Army Award) (Posthumously) to Sergeant Matej Kocak (MCSN: 72825), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F. in action at Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. When the advance of his battalion was checked by a hidden machine-gun nest, he went forward alone, unprotected by covering fire from his own men, and worked in between the German positions in the face of fire from enemy covering detachments. Locating the machine -gun nest, he rushed it and with his bayonet drove off the crew. Shortly after this he organized twenty-five French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machine-gun nest, which was also put out of action.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 34 (March 07, 1919)

Action Date: 18-Jul-18

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 66th Company

Regiment: 5th Regiment (Marines)

Division: 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Navy Award) (Posthumously) to Sergeant Matej Kocak (MCSN: 72825), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division, in action in the Viller-Cottertes section, south of Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. When a hidden machinegun nest halted the advance of his battalion, Sergeant Kocak went forward alone unprotected by covering fire and worked his way in between the German positions in the face of heavy enemy fire. Rushing the enemy position with his bayonet, he drove off the crew. Later the same day, Sergeant Kocak organized French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in an attack on another machinegun nest which was also put out of action.

Action Date: 18-Jul-18

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 66th Company

Regiment: 5th Regiment (Marines)

Division: 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Silver Star Citation

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D. 1918), Sergeant Matej Kocak (MCSN: 72825), United States Marine Corps, is cited (Posthumously) by the Commanding General, SECOND DIVISION, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Sergeant Kocak distinguished himself while serving with the 66th Company, Fifth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Soissons, France, 18 to 22 July 1918.

General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Action Date: July 18 - 22, 1918

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 66th Company

Regiment: Fifth Regiment (Marines)

Division: 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Silver Star Citation

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D. 1918), Sergeant Matej Kocak (MCSN: 72825), United States Marine Corps, is cited (Posthumously) by the Commanding General, SECOND DIVISION, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Sergeant Kocak distinguished himself while serving with the 66th Company, Fifth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Soissons, France, 18 to 22 July 1918.

General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Action Date: July 18 - 22, 1918

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 66th Company

Regiment: Fifth Regiment (Marines)

Division: 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces