It was about 10 a. m., July 19, 1918, that found
the Second Engineers occupying trenches in the vicinity of Vierzy.
The assaulting waves of Morrocans [sic] received many casualties
in this particular sector. Lying about in the open, and in plain
view of the enemy, who was about to launch a counter-attack, some
of their badly wounded were under continuous shell and machine
gun fire from the Boche.
When the cries of a man reached Pvt. DeWitt H. Thurman, who was engaged as first aid man with Company F, Second Engineers, he crawled over the top and with utter disregard for his own life, immediately set to work rescuing and administering to the brave "Blacks."
After a while he saw that there was much to be done and he called
for assistance. One of his comrades joined him and during the trying
hour and a half, when death seemed almost inevitable, the comrade,
Pvt. John Mendonsa, received two machine gun bullets in the leg.
About this time both were nearly exhausted, and Private Thurman,
with his last bit of strength, carried and dragged his assistant
back to safety.
Private Mendonsa has since received the French "Medaille Militaire" and "Croix de Guerre avec Palm."
-Sgt. Raymond E. Conway, Company F, Second Engineers.