b. 17/02/1885 Galivants Ferry, South Carolina. d. 24/10/1974 Columbia, South Carolina.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/10/1918 Montbrehain, France.
Dozier was born on February 17, 1885, at Galivants Ferry in Horry County. The descendant of a long line of Palmetto State Citizen-Soldiers who had served from the American Revolution, through the Spanish–American War, Dozier began his military career with Company H, 118th Infantry Regiment on September 3, 1904.
In August 1916, Dozier was sent with the 118th Infantry Regiment to El Paso, TX. There, they joined Brig. Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing’s Punitive Expedition to protect U.S. border towns from Mexican General Pancho Villa’s forces. Company H returned home to S.C. in December. Four months later on April 16, 1917 Dozier’s unit was activated for World War I. While training at Camp Sevier (near Greenville), over the next several months, Dozier was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in July and 1st Lt. in November. His unit boarded a ship bound for France on May 11, 1918.
Between May and September 1918, the 118th Infantry Regiment trained and moved through the allied lines to become the first American force to face Germany’s “impregnable” Hindenburg Line on September 27. Over the next month, the regiment advanced through 18,000 yards of enemy territory, 15,000 yards of which was made while the regiment was in the front line spearheading numerous attacks. However, it was at Montbrehain on October 8, Dozier became one of six S.C. National Guardsmen to receive the Medal of Honor.
Dozier rejoined the S.C National Guard on December 1, 1920, to organize the “Frank Roach Guards,” of Rock Hill in honor of Roach, a fellow Rock Hill Soldier from Company H who lost his life in Flanders Field. On September 1, 1921, Dozier was promoted to Major and assigned to command 3rd Battalion of the 118th Infantry Regiment. On January 1, 1923, he was appointed secretary of the State Board of Welfare which he held until the unexpected death of Adjutant General Robert E. Craig. A week later on January 22, 1926, Maj. Dozier was appointed The Adjutant General (TAG) by Governor Thomas C. McLeod to fill the unexpired term of Craig. At the time, Guard strength consisted of 2,104 officers and men. The Guard had two armories, one in Columbia, the other in Beaufort. The annual budget was $118,812.00.
In September 1940, the winds of war were again blowing across the nation and the 118th Infantry Regiment was activated. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, all 3,671 Guardsmen were activated for World War II. In order to ensure key logistical installations throughout the state continued to be protected, the S.C. Legislature adopted Act No. 54, on March 21, 1941, establishing the S.C. Defense Force to serve in the absence of the Guard. Dozier immediately organized State Guard units in 80 towns, with a strength of 6,000 men.
After World War II, the National Guard had to be completely reorganized and rebuilt. In December 1946, the process began and Dozier became an advocate for General George C. Marshall’s plan for the post-war National Guard. Marshall believed a bigger, more powerful, well funded National Guard would help deter future aggression by America’s enemies. “I sincerely believe that if we had given our security its proper attention, the Axis nations would not have started the war,” said Dozier.
He remained in that position for the rest of his career, retiring in 1959 at the rank of lieutenant general. He was also awarded the Purple Heart, the World War I Victory Medal (with three battle stars), the British World War I Military Cross, the French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and the French Croix de guerre (with palm), among others. He died at the age of 89.
In command of 2 platoons, 1st. Lt. Dozier was painfully wounded in the shoulder early in the attack, but he continued to lead his men displaying the highest bravery and skill. When his command was held up by heavy machinegun fire, he disposed his men in the best cover available and with a soldier continued forward to attack a machinegun nest. Creeping up to the position in the face of intense fire, he killed the entire crew with handgrenades and his pistol and a little later captured a number of Germans who had taken refuge in a dugout nearby.
BURIAL LOCATION: ELMWOOD MEMORIAL GARDENS, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA.
MAGNOLIA PARK SECTION, LOT 210, GRAVE 4
LOCATION OF MEDAL: SOUTH CAROLINA MILITARY MUSEUM, COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA.