George Dilboy, (born February 05, 1896 - died July 18, 1918), Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 103d Infantry, 26th Division was one of the greatest Doughboy to enter into service and the first Greek-American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during WWI, for leading an attack and continued to fire at the enemy despite being seriously wounded, killing numerious of the enemy and dispersing the rest of the crew. General John Pershing listed George Dilboy as one of the 10 greatest hero's of the war. Dilboy is buried in Section 18 of Arlington National Cemetery. The Dilboy Field in Somerville, Massachusetts was named after him.
Born in the Greek settlement of Alatsata, then a part of Greece in Asia Minor, in today's Western Turkey known as Izmir, the Belleau Wood hero astounded Germans by singlehandedly attacking The Wood which was infested with Machine gun nests, and wiping out three guns before the Germans fled. Equally astonished were his fellow Doughboys of World War I. Dilboy's early years were spend living in a region of the world were dangerous feuding between Ottoman Turks and Greeks was an on going event for nearly 400 years. He and his family emigrated to America in 1908 and settled first in Keene, New Hampshire and then in Somerville, Massachusetts. But Dilboy returns to mainland Greece in 1909 where he volunteer to fight in the Greek Army in Thessaly during the First Balkan War of 1912. He remained there to successfully fight in Macedonia in the Second Balkan War of 1913. Returning to Somerville, he went to school and worked for a few years before volunteering to fight in the US Army in the Mexican Border War in 1916-1917, he entered service at Keene, New Hampshire. He obtained an honorable discharge and within months thereafter re-joined the US Army to fight in France during WWI, where he was killed in 1918 at age 22. At the request of his father, Antonios, Dilboy was buried at his birth place Alatsata, which was at that time a predominate Greek city. After a funeral procession through the streets of his birthplace said to have been witnessed by 17,000 mourners his flag-draped casket was placed in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Presentation in Alatsata to lie in state before the high altar. But rampaging Turkish soldiers soon seized the town and during the three-year Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1923, Turkish troops burned Smyrna to the ground and massacred tens of thousands of Greeks. The church was ransacked and Dilboy's grave desecrated. The American flag was stolen from atop Dilboy's coffin. The coffin was overturned, after which according to an account by Bishop John Kallos the bones of the Greek-American war hero were scattered by the marauding attackers. President Warren G. Harding was outraged, he sent the warship, USS Litchfield, half way across the world to Turkey in September, 1922 to recover the bodily remains. Harding also demanded an apology from the Turkish government. He got both. After a formal apology by the Turkish government, Dilboy's remains were collected and a Turkish guard of honor delivered his casket draped once again in an American flag to an American landing party in Smyrna. His remains were taken aboard the USS Litchfield and returned to the United States for their final resting place. On November 12, 1923, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, where his gravestone proclaims his Medal of Honor status. Dilboy's fascinating incidences continued after his death into World War II, the 1990's and as late as 2005.
Dilboy had the distinction of being honored by three U.S. Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, who signed the authorization awarding the Medal of Honor, Warren G. Harding, who brought him back to Arlington National Cemetery and Calvin Coolidge, former Governor of Massachusetts, who presided at his final burial. Writer Eddie Brady, who believes Dilboy could have been America's Winston Churchill, has written a story retelling Dilboy's life in the book titled, Georgie! My Georgie!.
In 2005 efforts to re-name the Dilboy Stadium in honor of local politician, the late state Senator Charlie Shannon, stirred the wrath of those who honor the memory of the World War I hero, Dilboy, the renaming was scratched when it was rejected by veterans, family members and citizens alike, including Charlie Shannon's widow.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"