Readers Views: Duluth native earned his WWI award for heroism
I have been learning about the Distinguished Service Cross in school. I chose to learn about Leonard Cavanaugh. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic action on Oct. 4, 1918, in Exermont, France. He was a corporal in the U.S. ...
I have been learning about the Distinguished Service Cross in school. I chose to learn about Leonard Cavanaugh. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic action on Oct. 4, 1918, in Exermont, France. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army. His hometown was West Duluth, the same hometown as my dad.
Cavanaugh’s heroic action: After all the officers of his company had become casualties, he took command and reorganized under heavy fire and led an attack on Hill 240. He showed courage and extraordinary heroism by leading the troops in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was important because it was the greatest American battle of World War I. In the battle, American Expeditionary Forces lost 26,277 soldiers with another 95,786 soldiers wounded. The goal of the battle was to capture the railroad in Sedan. Capturing the railroad would prevent the enemy from getting needed supplies, which would help the U.S. win the war.
To receive the Distinguished Service Cross a person had to be in the Army engaged in military operations against an enemy of the United States. The person needed to show extraordinary heroism, but not the same as the Medal of Honor. The person also had to risk their life. It had to be above and beyond the others in their troop.
Leonard Cavanaugh deserved the award because he led his troops with courage to win the war.
Alex Frederickson Lakeville, Minn. The writer is in the sixth grade at Paideia Academy in Apple Valley, Minn.