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Matej Kocak

5th USMC Regiment, 2nd Marine Division

Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

Entered the Service from:

Pennsylvania

Died:

10/4/1918

Grave Location:

Plot D, Row 41, Grave 32

Sgt. Matej Kocak served with the U.S. Marine Corps at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1914, followed by New Orleans, La., and then Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 1917 he returned to the United States where he joined the 12th Company at Quantico, Va. By December of that year he was in St. Nazaire, France. In January 1918 he was promoted to sergeant.

When a machinegun nest halted the advance of Kocak’s battalion in the Battle of Soissons, he went forward alone and unprotected to rush the enemy position. With only his bayonet, Kocak drove off the enemy. Later that day, Kocak organized French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company. He led them in an attack of another machinegun nest.

He survived the Battle of Soissons, and participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was killed in action at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge on October 4, 1918. For his actions at the Battle of Soissons, Kocak was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army.

Awards: Medal of Honor, French Medaille Militaire, French and Italian Croce al Merito di Guerra

Medal of Honor

Matej Kocak is buried in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery Plot D, Row 41, Grave 32.