Seven Indiana heroes followed for upcoming PBS documentary on World War I 

By Jo Throckmorton
via the Herald-Times newspaper (IN) web site 

Six days. Fifty locations. One thousand six hundred miles. Seven Hoosier Heroes. Four languages. Three countries. One great adventure.

Cpl. James GreshamCpl. James GreshamThis is my final dispatch from France, where I am traveling to learn the deeper stories of seven Hoosier heroes. The little Lexus crossover was put through the paces as we traveled nearly 300 miles every day to tape at just over eight locations. Many of those locations were found down what barely classify as wagon trails back home.

What we discovered was so much more than could be found in books. We had the distinct honor of walking in the same lanes, fields and towns as those about whom we had come to learn more.

Cpl. James Bethel Gresham was from Evansville. On Nov. 3, 1917, in a trench in far Eastern France, he became the first U.S. soldier to die in World War I. 

Pvt. Laurens Bennett StrainPvt. Laurens Bennett StrainPvt. Laurens Bennett Strain was from Bloomington. He was killed in action just after midnight on June 7, 1918, by a machine gun bullet to the head. 

Sgt. Ernest Finley Duncan, of Bloomington, received the Silver Star and the French Croix-de-Guerre. He died in the first large-scale battle fought by American soldiers in the war in the Belleau Wood on June 10, 1918.

Sgt. Louis Carl Rupholdt was from Goshen. He was killed alongside a railroad track on July 15, 1918. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in the action near Mezy, France, as he held his post on the bank of the Marne River until nearly his entire platoon was annihilated and he himself wounded. After being carried a short distance to the rear, he continued to direct the defense of the position until killed. 

Lt. Samuel Woodfill was from Madison. He would become Indiana’s only Medal of Honor recipient for action in World War I. Woodfill overtook two snipers and four machine gun nests on the morning of Oct. 12, 1918, in the small town of Cunel, France.

Read the entire article on the Herald-Times web site.

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