Gregory, Earle Davis

Title

Gregory, Earle Davis

Last Name

Gregory

First and Middle Name

Earle Davis

Biographical Text

“I will get them” -Sergeant Earle D. Gregory, October 8, 1918, Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Earle D. Gregory, from Chase City, Virginia, was a member of the United States Army before the start of World War I. Before the war, Sergeant Gregory served in Mexico during the Mexican Expedition against the Mexican revolutionary forces of Francisco "Pancho" Villa. It was in Mexico that Gregory rose to the position of 1st Sergeant of his company before his 20th birthday.

The remarkable leadership demonstrated by Gregory in Mexico continued into World War I, where he was the Platoon Sergeant of a trench mortar platoon during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in October 1918. In fighting near the Bois-de-Consenvoye, Gregory’s unit was pinned down by German machine gun fire. Shouting, “I will get them!” Gregory, grabbing a rifle and using trench mortars as grenades, charged the enemy positions, capturing 23 German soldiers, a machine gun, and a howitzer. For his actions, Sergeant Gregory received the Medal of Honor, becoming the first native-born Virginian to receive this honor.

Three days after the action which earned him the Medal of Honor, Gregory was wounded in the leg while attempting to seize another German trench. After this he spent six months in the hospital recovering, partly in France and partly in Camp Lee, Virginia. On April 25, 1919, Gregory was honorably discharged from the Army. Four days later, he received his Medal of Honor during a ceremony at Camp Lee.

In his honor, in May 1963, the Pershing Rifles of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets were renamed the Gregory Guard.

Earle Gregory enrolled in VPI after the war and graduated in 1923. He studied Electrical Engineering. Gregory was twice elected class president and president of the Corps of Cadets. He retired as the Administrative Assistant to the Tuscaloosa Hospital's Chief of Staff. He died on January 6, 1972.

Nicknames or Other Names

Foots

Hometown

Chase City

County and/or State

Virginia

Birth Date

18 October 1897

Birthplace

Chase City, Virginia

Death Date

6 January 1972

Place of Death

Birmingham, Alabama

Parents

William and Pearl Gregory

Siblings

Nette Gregory Curling
Mabel Gregory Hawkins

Spouse(s)

Jettie B Smith

Children

None

VPI Graduating Class

VPI Class of 1923

Undergraduate Major

Electrical Engineering

Graduated

Yes

Service Branch

Army

Unit

HHC, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division

Rank

Sergeant

Retired Rank

Sergeant

Military Events

Participated in the Meusse-Argonne Offensive with the 116th Infantry. He was highly decorated for his actions on 8 October 1918. On 11 October, he was seriously wounded as a result of German artillery fire and required 6 months of hospitalization.

Decorations or Citations

Medal of Honor
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Italian Corce di Guerra
Montenegrin Order of Merit Medal

Battles or Engagements

Meusse-Argonne Offensive

Other Events

24 April 1919- received Medal of Honor at Camp Lee from Major General Omar Bundy

September 1919- enrolled at Virginia Tech and joined the VTCC

Class President at Virginia Tech

May 1963- The Pershing Rifles of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets renamed the Gregory Guard in honor of Earl D Gregory

Postwar Life

Studied Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech. After graduating in 1923, he worked with the Veterans Administrations Hospitals in Montgomery and Tuscaloosa Alabama.

Occupation

Veterans Administration Hospital administrator

Retired as Administrative Assistant to the Tuscaloosa Hospitals Chief of Staff

Contributing Researchers

Gregory Milhiser

Files

117_gregory_earl_d_005a.jpg
Earle Davis Gregory senior portrait from the 1923 VPI Bugle.jpg
Earle Davis Gregory picture from the 1923 VPI Bugle.jpg
Earle Davis Gregory from the 1923 VPI Bugle.jpg
Earle Davis Gregory WW1 Questionairre - VPI Class of 1923 - pg 1.tif
Earle Davis Gregory WW1 Questionairre - VPI Class of 1923 - pg 2.tif
Earle Davis Gregory WW1 Questionairre - VPI Class of 1923 - pg 3.tif
800px-VaTechMedalOfHonor2 (1).jpg
Excerpt - Earle Davis Gregory WW1 Questionairre.jpg
The VPI Overseas Club, 1920 - from the Scrapbook of VPI student Robert Moore.jpg

Collection

Citation

“Gregory, Earle Davis,” VPI in World War One, accessed July 22, 2017, http://vpiworldwarone.lib.vt.edu/items/show/404.

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