Joel Thompson Boone MOH

b. 02/08/1889 St Clair, Pennsylvania. d. 02/04/1974 Washington DC.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 19/07/1918 Vierzy, France.

Joel T Boone MOH

Boone was born in St. Clair, Pennsylvania on August 29, 1889 and graduated in June 1913 from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. The following year he was commissioned a lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Naval Reserve. After attending the U.S. Naval Medical School in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1915, he was commissioned in the Regular Navy and assigned to Marine artillery battalion of the Marine Expeditionary Force in Haiti until 1916.

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Boone was transferred to the battleship USS Wyoming and was promoted to lieutenant in June of the same year. He later served as a surgeon with the 6th Marine Regiment, which was part of the Army’s 2nd Division while it was part of the American Expeditionary Force in France. On July 19, 1918 he displayed extraordinary heroism while treating casualties under fire. For this action he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

He was promoted to lieutenant commander in September 1918. Boone remained in the Navy after the First World War and also served during the Second World War and the Korean War. He was one of the few individuals to have served in all three conflicts.

After returning from France he was assigned to serve as the Director of the Bureau of Naval Affairs at the headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. In June 1922 he was assigned to the Presidential yacht USS Mayflower and served in that capacity during the administrations of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. When President Herbert Hoover took office in March 1929, he was assigned as the physician to the White House. He was promoted to commander in September 1931 and to captain in July 1939. In late 1940, Captain Boone became the senior medical officer at Naval Air Station San Diego and later transferred to the Naval Hospital in Seattle, as medical officer-in-command.

In April 1945, Boone was promoted to commodore and ordered as Fleet Medical Officer to the commander of the Third Fleet, Admiral William F. Halsey. For his service in the Pacific Theater, Boone was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Navy Commendation Ribbon and two battle stars. He was promoted to the rank of rear admiral on January 8, 1946 and was reassigned as District Medical Officer, Eleventh Naval District at San Diego. In March 1950, he became the Inspector General of the Navy Medical Department. He went to Korea in 1950 – shortly before his retirement for physical disability in December 1950.

Upon his retirement from the Navy, Boone was promoted to the rank of vice admiral on the retired list in recognition of his distinguished career. Vice Admiral Boone died in 1974 in Washington, D.C. and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.



For extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and intrepidity while serving with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy. With absolute disregard for personal safety, ever conscious and mindful of the suffering fallen, Surg. Boone, leaving the shelter of a ravine, went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded marines. This occurred southeast of Vierzy, near the cemetery, and on the road south from that town. When the dressings and supplies had been exhausted, he went through a heavy barrage of large-caliber shells, both high explosive and gas, to replenish these supplies, returning quickly with a sidecar load, and administered them in saving the lives of the wounded. A second trip, under the same conditions and for the same purpose, was made by Surg. Boone later that day.