b. 10/03/1894 Buffalo, New York. d. 05/02/1981 Trenton, New Jersey.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 04/10/1918 Argonne Forest, France.
Kaufman was born in Buffalo, New York, but grew up in Brooklyn, where he lived at 2113 Pitkin Avenue, at the time of enlistment. His mother was Mrs. Anna Kaufman. He was attending Syracuse University when he had to respond to the call to arms and joined the Army in 1917. He was assigned to Company K, 308th Infantry, 77th Division.
Kaufman proved to be a hero almost as soon as he was in combat in France. He became blinded by a gas shell while aiding in the rescue of several of his men. Despite his refusal of medical help, doctors forced him to go to the hospital. Kaufman decided to go back to battle and borrowed a uniform and made his way back to his outfit. Kaufman was faced with a court martial but the charges were dropped. Kaufman received awards for bravery from nine foreign governments. The United States awarded him the Medal of Honor on April 8, 1919.
During World War II, he was director of the War Manpower Commission in New Jersey. He was also a commander of the New Jersey Council of the Disabled American Veterans of the World War and a national vice commander of the National Legion of Valor.
He was the executive director of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States from 1945 to 1959 and a former national commander of the organization, and for nearly 10 years, he was the manager of the Trenton office of the State Employment Service.
Benjamin Kaufman died on February 5, 1981, at the Mercer Medical Center in Trenton at the age of 86. He was survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Finkle; a daughter, Rita DeVries; a sister, Jennie Edwards, and two grandchildren.
He took out a patrol for the purpose of attacking an enemy machine gun which had checked the advance of his company. Before reaching the gun he became separated from his patrol and a machine-gun bullet shattered his right arm. Without hesitation he advanced on the gun alone, throwing grenades with his left hand and charging with an empty pistol, taking one prisoner and scattering the crew, bringing the gun and prisoner back to the first-aid station.
BURIAL LOCATION: FOUNTAIN LAWN MEMORIAL PARK, TRENTON, NEW JERSEY.
JEWISH SECTION M1, GRAVE 5.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.