Mississippi Family of WWI Hero Receives Service Medals
 
Cochran Honors Father and Son During Award Presentation Ceremony
 
From:  News Release 3/29/16  GCN Staff
 
GULFPORT, MISS. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today joined in honoring the military service of the late Frank G. Ward and his son Francis G. Ward of Biloxi during the presentation of recovered military service medals earned by his father nearly 100 years ago in World War I.

At Cochran’s direction, his Chief of Staff Keith Heard on Tuesday presented Francis Ward, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, with the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and French Fourragere earned by his father Frank during WWI combat service.

PHOTO:  Francis G. Ward, the son of WWI hero Frank G. Ward, accepts military decorations earned by his father in 1918. 
  
“It is appropriate to honor the brave service of both the father and the son today,” Cochran said.
 
“I am pleased that Francis Ward has recovered the well-deserved medals awarded to his father for his heroism in France almost a century ago.  We honor his father and commend him for his own military career which includes service during World War II,” he said.  “We also acknowledge Francis’ determined devotion to his father and to ensuring that his meritorious service is properly recognized.”
 
Cochran’s staff worked with the Department of the Army to help Francis Ward recover the medals earned by his father in WWI as part of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.  Mr. Ward also earned the Italian War Merit Cross, though this award is not issued by the Army.
 
The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded in 1918 after Mr. Ward, a private in Company D of the First Engineers, displayed “heroic bravery” during a combat action. 
 
A General Order issued by the War Department on Nov. 1, 1918 described the actions that entitled Ward to the Distinguished Service Cross:  “Even though his normal duties were as orderly for two officers, he volunteered for action at Cantigny, France, May 28, 1918, successfully went into No Man’s Land and killed a sniper who was inflicting losses on his detachment, carried messages through machine-gun and artillery fire, and, although twice buried in shell craters,  he displayed heroic bravery, coolness, and fearless devotion throughout.”
 
Mr. Ward, a native of Washington, D.C., enlisted in the infantry in 1914 and served on the U.S. border with Mexico before joining the 1st U.S. Engineers in 1917.  He continued his military service following the war, commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in 1922, and honorably discharged from the Officers Reserve Corps in 1924.  Mr. Ward became an insurance broker and joined the Marine Corps Reserves as a captain in 1942.  He died in an unfortunate car accident in 1957 in California—after which his military decorations were lost.
 
Francis G. Ward, who was accompanied today by his wife Mary Ann and nephew Harold McCanick, continues his work to determine whether his father is entitled to the Medal of Honor.