Virginia Tech Medal of Honor Winners

Photograph of Julien Edmond Victor Gaujot receiving the Medal of Honor from President Taft at the White House, 1911

Photograph of Julien Edmond Victor Gaujot receiving the Medal of Honor from President Taft at the White House, 1911

Photograph of Jimmie Walters Monteith, Jr.

Photograph of Jimmie Walters Monteith, Jr., c.1941-1943

Photograph of Herbert Joseph Thomas

Photograph of Herbert Joseph Thomas, c.1941-1943

Julien Edmond Victor Gaujot (Class of 1893; non-graduate, attended 1889-1890). Born 22 October 1874, Eagle Harbor, Keweenaw County, Michigan. Died 7 April 1938, Radford, Virginia. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Brother of A. A. M. Gaujot below. Offically listed as Julien E. Gaujot, he was captain, commanding Troop K, 1st Cavalry when he won his medal at Aqua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, 13 April 1913. His medal was approved 23 November 1912 and awarded by President Taft at the White House the following month (one of the earliest of White House presentations). He retired from the Regular Army in 1934 with the rank of colonel.


Antoine August Michel Gaujot (Class of 1900; non-graduate, attended 1896-97). Born 12 December 1878, Eagle Harbor, Keweenaw County, Michigan. Died 14 April 1936, Williamson, West Virginia. Buried at Fairview Cemetery, Williamson, West Virginia. Also known as "Tony". Officially listed as Antoine A. Gaujot, he was a corporal, Company M., 27th U.S. Volunteer infantry when he won his medal 19 December 1899 at San Mateo, Luzon, Philippines. His medal was issued 15 February 1911 and sent him by registered mail (a common procedure at that time). He was later commissioned in the NG and saw service during the Mexican Border Crisis and in France during World War I. A civil engineer by profession, he was a lieutenant colonel, Infantry Reserve, at the time of his death. The Gaujots are one of eight sets of brothers known to have been awarded the medal to date.


Earle Davis Gregory (Class of 1923). Born 18 October 1897, Clayville, Virginia. He died 6 January 1972 at his home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and is buried at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa. He was a sergeant, section leader, Trench Mortar Platoon, Headquarters Company, 116th Infantry, 29th Division when he won his medal in the Consonvoye Forest, near Verdun, France, 8 October 1918. He received his medal from Mgen Omar Bundy during ceremonies at Camp Lee, Virginia, 29 April 1919. Gregory is not the "first native Virginian ever to receive the [medal]" (the earliest I can document is a soldier born at Fredericksburg in 1844 who won his medal serving with the Union Army in 1862. I usually avoid claims of "first", "most", "only", etc. Seems you no sooner establish such a claim and someone refutes it. I've personally dispelled dozens of such "records", including several "most decorated....".)


James Walters Monteith, Jr. (Class of 1941). Born 1 July 1917, Lowmoor, Virginia. Killed in action 6 June 1944 at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Buried at the American Battle Monuments Commission Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Officially listed as Jimmie W. Monteith, Jr., he was a first lieutenant, platoon commander, Company L, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division when he won his medal D-Day at Normandy. Some confusion as to his first name. Relatives insist it is James. Some records maintain it is Jimmie. Middle name is Walters (his grandmother's maiden name) not Waters.


Herbert Joseph Thomas (Class of 1941). Born 8 February 1918, Columbus, Ohio. Killed in action 7 November 1943, Bougainville, British Solomon Islands. Buried at Sunset Memorial Park, Charleston, West Virginia. He was a sergeant, platoon leader, Company B, 1st Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division when he distinguished himself in the above action. (Marine regiments are designated Marines in the same manner army regiments are designated or referred to by arm or service. [1st Artillery, 3d Cavalry, 9th Infantry, ect.] This was common usage long before it became official policy. A marine brigade or marine division is always designated or referred to as such, Marines is used exclusively to denote a marine regiment.)


Robert Edward Femoyer (Class of 1944; non-graduate, attended 1940-43). Born 31 October 1921, Huntington, West Virginia. Died at Rattlesden, England of wounds sustained 2 November 1944 during air raid over Merseburg, Germany. Buried at Greenlawn Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida. He was navigator (rank of second lieutenant) of B-17G #42-107052 "L for Love", 711th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force, Army Air Corps.


Richard Thomas Shea, Jr. (Class of 1948; non-graduate, attended 1944-45). Born 3 January 1927, Portsmouth, Virginia. Died of wounds 8 July 1953 near Sokkogae, Korea. Burried at Olive Branch Cemetery, Portsmouth, Virginia. He was a first lieutenant, executive officer (commanding company), Company A, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division when he distinguished himself 6-8 July 1953 at Pork Chop Hill, near Sokkogae. A graduate of Churchland High School in 1944, Shea enlisted and enrolled at Virginia Tech. After completing his course of study, he served in Europe as a soldier. He was appointed to West Point in 1948. He graduated with honors, USMA Class of 1952.


Text by J. R. Powell, June 20, 1997