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William Peterkin Upshur

Date of birth: October 28, 1881
Date of death: DNB: July 21, 1943
Burial location: Annapolis, Maryland
Place of Birth: Virginia, Richmond
Home of record: Richmond Virginia
Status: DNB

William Upshur was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1904 after previously graduating from Virginia Military Institute in 1902. He died in an airplane crash near Sitka, Alaska in 1943 while on an inspection command of his command (which included Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands) while serving as a Marine Corps Major General and as Commanding General of the Department of the Pacific with headquarters in San Francisco, California.


Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Haiti

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain William Peterkin Upshur, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action at Fort Dipitie, Haiti. In company with members of the 15th Company of Marines, all mounted, Captain Upshur left Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a six-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The Marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, Captain Upshur, in command of one of the three squads which advanced in three different directions led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos, and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.

Action Date: October 24, 1915

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Captain

Company: 15th Company (Mounted)

Regiment: 2d Marines