Walter Verlin Dial
Submitted by: Benjamin Lee Woodard
Walter Verlin Dial born around 1894, Walter Dial served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.
Story of Service
Walter Verlin Dial was a graduate of Huntington High School, an employee of Huntington Hardware Company, and Scoutmaster of Huntington’s Boy Scout Troop No. 4.
He entered service on May 10, 1917, for the first Officers’ Training School at Fort Benjamin Harrison. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Cavalry (but transferred to the Machine Gun service) and volunteered for immediate overseas service, leaving Huntington in August and sailing for France Sep 11, 1917 on the MONGOLIA.
He caught pneumonia while training overseas and was in the hospital several months, but, upon recovery, was sent to the front. He served with Company B, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division, American Expeditionary Force, US Army, and was in action from 12 Jul 1918 to the time of his death.
He was in the Argonne attack on the Montabeau wood near Fleville, France, on Oct 4, 1918, and, according to accounts, “displayed exceptional courage in leading his platoon and attacking and breaking up German machine-gun nest under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire. Although he was wounded, he refused to be evacuated and continued to advance…”
At 5:30 AM, while setting up a machine-gun tripod, he was shot and killed instantly. He was buried where he fell, later moved to an American cemetery, and finally relocated to Huntington’s Woodmere Cemetery in 1921, via the USAT CANTIGNY.
For his actions on that day, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor for valor and extraordinary heroism in action.