William Burdett Beach
Sergeant, United States Army
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Home: Kingman, Arizona
Company C, 4th Engineers, 4th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: August 6 & 8, 1918
General Orders No. 46, W.D., 1919
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William B. Beach, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for repeated acts of extraordinary heroism in action near St. Thibaut, France, August 6 and 8, 1918.
Being a member of a covering detachment sent out to protect a detail which was constructing a bridge over the Vesle River, Sergeant Beach voluntarily left his squad and fought his way alone down the river, in order to locate an enemy machine-gun nest. The flashes from his automatic rifle drew fire from the enemy, and he was forced to jump into the river for protection. Swimming back to his squad, he organized a detail and led it in a successful attack on the hostile position.
Two nights later, after this bridge had been
destroyed, this soldier, with three others, volunteered to rebuild the
bridge. Under continuous fire from the enemy, he swam the river several
times, and set the posts for the bridge, thereby making possible the infantry
attack on the following morning.