Allen James Greer MOH

b. 11/08/1878 Memphis, Tennessee. d. 16/03/1964 Orange, California.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/07/1901 near Majada, Luzon, Philippines.

Allen J Greer MOH

Allen Greer was born August 11, 1878, in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Judge James M. Greer of Mississippi and Betty Buckner Allen of Lexington, Kentucky. He had two brothers, Autrey and Rowan Adams.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee in 1898, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Minnesota in 1907, and a Master of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1938.

After his graduation from college, Greer, with J. Walter Canada, raised sixty volunteers for duty in the Spanish–American War (Company L), and he was made their lieutenant. The company, also known as the 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, did duty in Cuba under Captain Cordell Hull. It was composed of the members of Greer’s college graduating class.

Greer was commissioned in July 1898 as a second lieutenant in the Army. During the Philippine Insurrection he commanded a company of Philippine Scouts in Cavite Province.He was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 10, 1902, for his action on July 2, 1901, during the Philippine Insurrection, when he charged alone against an insurgent outpost with his pistol, killing one, wounding two, and capturing three, with their rifles and equipment. The action took place near Majada, Laguna Province.

In 1904, as a lieutenant, Greer moved from the 4th Infantry to the 28th Infantry, and in 1908, he was a recruiting officer with the 12th Cavalry Regiment, stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Greer was an honorary graduate of the Army School of the Line in 1912. In 1913, he was a captain with the 16th Infantry Regiment, and in August 1914, he was stationed in or near El Paso, Texas, with that regiment. Greer was a graduate of the Army Staff College in 1915,  and in August of that year he was the adjutant at a new Army training camp at the Presidio.  He served with John J. Pershing in the Punitive Expedition in Mexico in 1916.

At the beginning of United States involvement in World War One, Captain Greer was in Tennessee, where he and Lieutenant-Colonel Luke Lea began a volunteer light-artillery unit, which later became the 114th Field Artillery. In the American Expeditionary Force in Europe, Colonel Greer was chief of staff of the 92nd Infantry Division, composed of black troops, except for higher officers. Military historian Robert H. Ferrell wrote that Greer “took assignments because of the opportunity for promotion and perhaps opportunity to move out of the division to more attractive” positions. He was a graduate of the Field Artillery School Advanced Course in 1923, and he graduated from the Army War College in 1925. In 1927 he transferred from the infantry to the artillery. In postwar service, Greer was an instructor with the organized army reserves in Buffalo, New York. He would marry three times, but all of them would end in divorce.

After leaving the Army, Greer wrote for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He said he was a military analyst for the Buffalo Evening News in Europe and Japan during World War II and that he wrote about the Bikini atomic-bomb tests in 1946.

In 1961, Greer was living in San Clemente, California, with his son, Allen Jr., and daughter-in-law. A reporter described him as “mellow,” “scholarly” and “almost a disinterested spectator” of the modern world who “walks around his neighborhood and occasionally has a beer.”

Greer died on March 16, 1964, in Orange, California, at the age of 85. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.



Charged alone an insurgent outpost with his pistol, killing one, wounding two, and capturing three insurgents with their rifles and equipment.