Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 09/02/1865 New Carlisle, Ohio. d. 19/02/1917 San Antonio, Texas.

 

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/04/1899 Luzon, Philippines.

 

Funston was born in New Carlisle, Ohio, before his family moved to Allen County, Kansas, in 1881. His father, Edward H. Funston, was elected to the United States House of Representatives.

 

A slight individual who stood just 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) tall and weighed only 120 pounds (54 kg), Funston failed an admissions test to the United States Military Academy in 1884, then attended the University of Kansas from 1885 to 1888, but did not graduate. While there, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and became friends with future Pulitzer Prize winner William Allen White. He worked as a trainman for the Santa Fe Railroad before becoming a reporter in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1890.

 

After one year as a journalist, Funston moved into more scientific exploration, focusing primarily on botany. First serving as part of an exploring and surveying expedition in Death Valley, California, in 1891, he then traveled to Alaska to spend the next two years in work for the United States Department of Agriculture.

 

He eventually joined the Cuban Revolutionary Army that was fighting for independence from Spain in 1896 after having been inspired to join following a rousing speech given by Gen. Daniel E. Sickles at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

 

After a bout of malaria, Funston's weight dropped to an alarming 95 pounds and he was given a leave of absence by the Cubans. When Funston returned to the United States, he was commissioned as a colonel of the 20th Kansas Infantry in the United States Army on May 13, 1898, in the early days of the Spanish–American War. That same year, he landed in the Philippines as part of the U.S. forces that would become engaged in the Philippine–American War.

 

MOH CITATION:

 

Crossed the river on a raft and by his skill and daring enabled the general commanding to carry the enemy's entrenched position on the north bank of the river and to drive him with great loss from the important strategic position of Calumpit.

 

Shortly before the U.S. entry into World War I, President Woodrow Wilson favored Funston to head any American Expeditionary Force (AEF). His intense focus on work would lead to health problems, first with a case of indigestion in January 1917, followed by a fatal heart attack at the age of 51 years in San Antonio, Texas.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY, CALIFORNIA,

Plot: OS, Plot 3, Grave 68

Frederick Funston

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