America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan

By James H. Willbanks | Go to book overview

Titus, Calvin Pearl

Born: September 22, 1879

Died: May 27, 1966

Home State: Iowa

Service: Army

Conflict: China Relief Expedition

Age at Time of Award: 21

Calvin Pearl Titus was born on September 22, 1879, in Vinton, Iowa. At age 11, his mother passed away, and he moved to Oklahoma with his father. Later, he moved to Kansas, where he took up residence with an aunt and uncle. Having developed a love for music, Titus taught himself how to play the violin and coronet. He also frequently traveled around the country with his uncle, a Salvation Army minister, playing music during prayer meetings. While in Vermont with his uncle, Titus was recruited by the Vermont National Guard as news of the sinking of the USS Maine swept across the country. He enlisted, not surprisingly, as a bugler. After fighting a case of malaria contracted during training, Titus was released from his obligation. In 1899, he enlisted in the Army once more, again as a bugler and (unOfficially) chaplain’s assistant, and was assigned to the US 14th Infantry Regiment, which was headed to the recently acquired Philippines.

In the summer of 1900, the 14th Infantry found itself in China as part of the International Relief Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion. On August 14, the expeditionary force had marched from Tientsin to Peking and halted in front of the massive walls surrounding the city. Col. A. S. Daggett, Titus’s commander, asked for a volunteer to try to climb the 30-foot wall. Titus answered the call and successfully scaled the massive facade, coming under fire at the top. His courageous action inspired his fellow soldiers, who assaulted and penetrated the walls of the city.

For his bravery, it was decided on March 11, 1902, that Titus was to be recommended for the Medal of Honor. In addition to being recommended for the nation’s highest military honor, Titus was granted admission into the US Military Academy at West Point by President William McKinley. During the academy’s 100th-anniversary celebration in June 1902, Titus was presented the Medal of Honor by President Theodore Roosevelt, becoming the only freshman cadet to ever wear the Medal of Honor.

After graduating from West Point in 1905, Titus left the Army and undertook evangelical work for several years. In 1908, he reenlisted, returning to the 14th US Infantry, stationed in the Philippines, this time as a second lieutenant. In 1909, he became an ordained minister in the People’s Mission Church and applied for chaplaincy. However, his application was denied due to the fact that the denomination was not recognized by the US Army. Throughout the next five years, he was assigned to various duty stations training National Guard Officers. This fateful assignment took Titus to the Mexican border in 1916, where he took part in John J. Pershing’s famous Mexican Expedition to capture Pancho Villa.

By the time America had entered World War I, Titus had risen to the rank of major. He was assigned to administrative duties that kept him in America throughout the course of the war. It was only after the war’s conclusion that Titus was assigned to duties in France and Germany. After returning from Europe in 1922, he was assigned to the ROTC program at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Titus was also an honor graduate from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1926. In 1930, Lieutenant Colonel Titus retired from Coe College as professor of military science and tactics. Titus passed away on May 27, 1966, in San Fernando, California. In 1999, the US Navy named container ship MV Ltc. Calvin P. Titus in his honor.

Calvin Titus’s military career spanned three decades, involving him in some of the most storied conflicts in US military history: the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Mexican Expedition, and World War I. Few soldiers throughout American military history can claim such an illustrious career.

Jason C. Engle


Further Reading

Boot, Max. The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Houlihan, William J. “Before the Chaplain Assistant.” The Army Chaplaincy, Spring 1999.

King, Brig. Gen. Edward L. “Annual Report of the Commandant: The General Service Schools, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1926–1927.” Fort Leavenworth, KS: US Army Command and General StaffCollege, 1927.

Owens, Ron. Medal of Honor: Historical Facts and Figures. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 2004.

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America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Entries ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Adams, Lucian 1
  • Baca, John P. 2
  • Bacon, Nicky Daniel 4
  • Baker, Vernon 6
  • Baldwin, Frank D. 8
  • Ballard, Donald E. 11
  • Barfoot, Van T. 13
  • Barnum, Harvey C., Jr 14
  • Barrett, Carlton W. 16
  • Basilone, John 18
  • Benavidez, Roy P. 20
  • Birkhimer, William E. 22
  • Blake, Robert 24
  • Bleak, David B. 25
  • Boyington, Gregory 27
  • Brady, Patrick Henry 29
  • Britt, Maurice L. 30
  • Brown, Bobbie E. 32
  • Bucha, Paul William 34
  • Burke, Lloyd L. 36
  • Bush, Robert Eugene 38
  • Butler, Smedley Darlington 40
  • Butterfield, Daniel 42
  • Cafferata, Hector a., Jr 43
  • Carney, William H. 45
  • Cavaiani, Jon R. 48
  • Chamberlain, Joshua L. 49
  • Childers, Ernest 51
  • Cody, William F. 53
  • Cohn, Abraham 55
  • Cole, Robert G. 57
  • Craft, Clarence B. 59
  • Crandall, Bruce P. 61
  • Custer, Thomas W. 63
  • Dahlgren, John Olof 65
  • Daly, Daniel Joseph 67
  • Davila, Rudolph B. 69
  • Davis, Charles W. 70
  • Davis, Raymond G. 73
  • Davis, Sammy L. 74
  • Day, George E. 76
  • Dean, William F. 78
  • Deblanc, Jefferson Joseph 79
  • Dix, Drew Dennis 81
  • Donlon, Roger Hugh C. 84
  • Donovan, William Joseph 85
  • Doolittle, James H. 87
  • Doss, Desmond T. 88
  • Dunham, Jason L. 90
  • Dunham, Russell E. 91
  • Dyess, Aquilla James 93
  • Ehlers, Walter D. 96
  • Evans, Ernest Edwin 98
  • Faith, Don C., Jr 100
  • Finn, John William 102
  • Fletcher, Frank Jack 104
  • Fluckey, Eugene Bennett 105
  • Foley, Robert F. 107
  • Foss, Joseph Jacob 109
  • Fox, John Robert 112
  • Freeman, Ed W. 113
  • Funston, Frederick 115
  • Galer, Robert Edward 117
  • García, Macario 119
  • Gonsalves, Harold 121
  • Gonzalez, Alfredo 123
  • Gordon, Gary I. 125
  • Hagemeister, Charles Chris 126
  • Harmon, Roy W. 128
  • Harrell, William George 130
  • Hatch, John P. 131
  • Hayashi, Shizuya 133
  • Hayes, Webb C. 134
  • Heard, John W. 137
  • Hendrix, James R. 139
  • Hernández, Rodolfo P. 140
  • Herrera, Silvestre S. 142
  • Hooper, Joe R. 144
  • Howard, Oliver O. 146
  • Howard, Robert L. 148
  • Inouye, Daniel K. 150
  • Irwin, Bernard J. D. 154
  • Izac, Edouard Victor Michel 155
  • Jackson, Joe M. 158
  • Jacobs, Jack H. 160
  • Joel, Lawrence 162
  • Kaufman, Benjamin 164
  • Keeble, Woodrow W. 166
  • Kelly, Charles E. 167
  • Kerrey, Joseph R. 169
  • Kisters, Gerry H. 171
  • Kouma, Ernest R. 173
  • Lang, George C. 175
  • Lemon, Peter C. 177
  • Levitow, John L. 178
  • Liteky, Angelo J. 181
  • Livingston, James E. 182
  • Lopez, Jose M. 184
  • Lucas, Jacklyn Harold 186
  • Luke, Frank, Jr 189
  • Mabry, George L., Jr 191
  • Macarthur, Arthur, Jr 193
  • Macarthur, Douglas 195
  • Mackie, John F. 198
  • Mallon, George H. 200
  • Marm, Walter Joseph, Jr 201
  • Martinez, Joe P. 203
  • McCool, Richard Miles, Jr 204
  • McGinnis, Ross A. 206
  • McGinty, John J., III 207
  • McKinney, John R. 209
  • Merli, Gino J. 211
  • Miles, L. Wardlaw 213
  • Miles, Nelson A. 214
  • Millett, Lewis L. 218
  • Miyamura, Hiroshi H. 220
  • Mize, Ola L. 223
  • Moffett, William A. 225
  • Monsoor, Michael A. 226
  • Monti, Jared C. 227
  • Munemori, Sadao S. 229
  • Munro, Douglas Albert 231
  • Murphy, Audie L. 233
  • Murphy, Michael P. 235
  • Murphy, Raymond G. 236
  • Norris, Thomas R. 238
  • Novosel, Michael J. 240
  • O’Hare, Edward Henry 243
  • O’Kane, Richard Hetherington 245
  • Okubo, James K. 246
  • Olive, Milton L., III 248
  • O’Neill, Richard W. 249
  • Page, John U. D. 251
  • Paige, Mitchell 254
  • Parker, Samuel I. 256
  • Pennypacker, Galusha 258
  • Penry, Richard A. 260
  • Pitsenbarger, William H. 262
  • Pittman, John A. 264
  • Pittman, Richard A. 265
  • Pope, Everett Parker 267
  • Pope, Thomas A. 269
  • Rascon, Alfred V. 271
  • Ray, Ronald Eric 273
  • Red Cloud, Mitchell, Jr 275
  • Rickenbacker, Edward V. 278
  • Roberts, Gordon R. 279
  • Rocco, Louis R. 281
  • Rodriguez, Joseph C. 283
  • Roosevelt, Theodore 285
  • Rosser, Ronald E. 287
  • Rubin, Tibor 289
  • Rudolph, Donald E. 291
  • Ruiz, Alejandro R. Renteria 293
  • Sakato, George T. 294
  • Salomon, Ben L. 296
  • Sandlin, Willie 298
  • Sasser, Clarence Eugene 300
  • Schofield, John M. 302
  • Shafter, William R. 303
  • Shoup, David Monroe 305
  • Shughart, Randall D. 307
  • Sickles, Daniel E. 310
  • Sijan, Lance P. 312
  • Simanek, Robert E. 313
  • Sitter, Carl L. 315
  • Smith, Andrew Jackson 317
  • Smith, Paul R. 319
  • Spurrier, Junior J. 320
  • Stockdale, James B. 322
  • Stone, James L. 324
  • Stowers, Freddie 326
  • Thornton, Michael Edwin 327
  • Thorsness, Leo K. 329
  • Titus, Calvin Pearl 332
  • Turner, George B. 333
  • Urban, Matt 335
  • Vandegrift, Alexander Archer 337
  • Vargas, Jay R. 339
  • Versace, Humbert R. 341
  • Wahlen, George Edward 343
  • Wai, Francis B. 345
  • Wainwright, Jonathan M. 347
  • Walker, Dr. Mary E. 349
  • Ware, Keith L. 350
  • Warren, Francis E. 352
  • Watson, George 353
  • Watters, Charles Joseph 354
  • Webb, Alexander S. 358
  • Wetzel, Gary George 360
  • Whiteley, Eli 362
  • Whittington, Hulon B. 363
  • Williams, Hershel Woodrow 365
  • Wilson, Louis Hugh, Jr. 367
  • Wood, Leonard 369
  • Woodfill, Samuel 372
  • York, Alvin C. 373
  • Young, Rodger W. 375
  • Zabitosky, Fred William 377
  • Zeamer, Jay, Jr. 379
  • Recipients of the Medal of Honor 381
  • Double Award Recipients 487
  • Medals of Honor Awarded by Conflict and Service 489
  • Bibliography 493
  • Index 511
  • About the Editor 529
  • Contributors 531
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