b. 04/01/1892 Egypt, Tennessee. d. 23/05/1965 Atoka, Tennessee.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/09/1918 Bellicourt, France.
Adkison was born in Egypt, Tennessee, and enlisted in the Army in 1917 in Memphis, Tennessee. By mid-1918, Adkison and his division were involved in combat in France. On September 29, 1918, near Bellicourt, France, Adkison, by then a Sergeant, found he and his platoon pinned down by heavy German machine gun fire located fifty yards to their front. Adkison, acting alone, charged the machine gun nest, kicked it over into the enemy trench, and using the bayonet fixed on his rifle captured the three man machine gun crew, allowing his platoon to advance. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919, and was one of six soldiers from Tennessee to receive that medal for their service during the First World War. Another of the six was Alvin York, subject of the film Sergeant York starring actor Gary Cooper.
Adkison received the Medal of Honor at the Atoka Presbyterian Church. The church had a stone monument made to honour the occasion. The Atoka Board of Mayor and Aldermen named a street in his honour. Adkison Circle passes in front of the property and home his mother bought in 1906. During Tennessee Homecoming 1986 celebrations, the stone from the church was moved to a newly named Adkison Park, also in front of his home in the Town of Atoka, Tennessee.
Adkison died on 23rd May 1965, and was buried in Salem Cemetery next to the Salem Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Atoka, Tennessee.
When murderous machinegun fire at a range of 50 yards had made it impossible for his platoon to advance, and had caused the platoon to take cover Sergeant. Adkison alone, with the greatest intrepidity, rushed across the 50 yards of open ground directly into the face of the hostile machinegun kicked the gun from the parapet into the enemy trench, and at the point of the bayonet captured the 3 men manning the gun. The gallantry and quick decision of this soldier enabled the platoon to resume its advance.
BURIAL LOCATION: SALEM ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CEMETERY, SALEM, TENNESSEE.
SECTION B, ROW 10, LOT 20A
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.