Jimmie W. Monteith

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Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr.
Jimmy Monteith.png Cmoh army.jpg
Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., circa 1944
Nickname(s) Punk
Born (1917-07-01)July 1, 1917
Low Moor, Virginia
Died June 6, 1944(1944-06-06) (aged 26)
Normandy, France
Place of burial Normandy American Cemetery
Colleville-sur-Mer, France
Plot: Section I, Row 20, Grave 12
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1941 - 1944
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
Unit Company L, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr. (July 1, 1917 – June 6, 1944) was a United States Army officer who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in World War II at the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.

Early years

Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr. was born on July 1, 1917 in Low Moor, Virginia. His family moved to Richmond, Virginia, when he was nine years old. After elementary school, he attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where he played a year each of varsity football and varsity basketball. Known in high school as "Punk," he graduated in 1937. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (then known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, shortened in popular usage to Virginia Polytechnic Institute or simply VPI) for two years, 1937–1939, majoring in mechanical engineering. While at VPI, he was a member of K Battery in the Corps of Cadets and the Richmond Sectional Club. He returned to Richmond at the end of his sophomore year and worked as a field representative for the Cabell Coal Company, where his father was vice president. He was drafted into the army in October 1941 and sent to Camp Croft, South Carolina, for basic training.

During basic training, he was promoted to corporal and applied for officer training. He was accepted and sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, completing the course in March 1942, when he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant. He was then transferred to Fort McClellan, Alabama, where he helped train the 15th Battalion. In February 1943, he was transferred into the 30th Division at Camp Blanding, Florida, to begin training in preparation for being shipped overseas to fight in the war.

In April 1943 he was shipped to Algeria, where he joined the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One). The division moved to Sicily in July 1943, and he received a field promotion to 1st lieutenant during the campaign. The division moved to England in November 1943 to prepare for the Normandy invasion. It was during that D-Day invasion that he was killed.

He is buried at the American cemetery in Normandy, Colleville-sur-Mer, Basse-Normandie, France. His grave can be found in section I, row 20, grave 12.

Grave Marker of Jimmie Waters Monteith Jr. at the American Cemetery near Colleville-sur-Mer.

Military awards and other honors

First Lieutenant Monteith's awards include :

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Badge Combat Infantry Badge
1st Row Medal of Honor Purple Heart American Defense Service Medal
2nd Row American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal

Medal of Honor citation

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 20 (March 29, 1945)

"The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to

First Lieutenant (Infantry) Jimmie W. Montieth Jr.

United States Army

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, while serving with 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action near Colleville-sur-Mer, France. First Lieutenant Monteith landed with the initial assault waves on the coast of France under heavy enemy fire. Without regard to his own personal safety he continually moved up and down the beach reorganizing men for further assault. He then led the assault over a narrow protective ledge and across the flat, exposed terrain to the comparative safety of a cliff. Retracing his steps across the field to the beach, he moved over to where two tanks were buttoned up and blind under violent enemy artillery and machinegun fire. Completely exposed to the intense fire, First Lieutenant Monteith led the tanks on foot through a minefield and into firing positions. Under his direction several enemy positions were destroyed. He then rejoined his company and under his leadership his men captured an advantageous position on the hill. Supervising the defense of his newly won position against repeated vicious counterattacks, he continued to ignore his own personal safety, repeatedly crossing the 200 or 300 yards of open terrain under heavy fire to strengthen links in his defensive chain. When the enemy succeeded in completely surrounding First Lieutenant Monteith and his unit and while leading the fight out of the situation, First Lieutenant Monteith was killed by enemy fire. The courage, gallantry, and intrepid leadership displayed by First Lieutenant Monteith is worthy of emulation.

/S/ Franklin D. Roosevelt"[1] [2]

Posthumous honors

Monteith's name, incorrectly listed as "James Warters Monteith," on Virginia Tech's Cenotaph.
Camp Monteith

Camp Monteith is a U.S. military base named in honor of Jimmie Monteith, located in Gnjilane, Kosovo.

Monteith Hall

Monteith Hall at Virginia Tech was built in 1949 and named after alumnus First Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr.

Jimmie W. Monteith Jr. Amphitheater, Fort McClellan, Alabama

Jimmie W. Monteith Jr. Barracks, Furth, Germany

Jimmie W. Monteith Jr. Army Reserve Center, McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital

Monteith Street - Fort Rucker, AL

The bridge at the Low Moor exit of I-64 in Alleghany County, VA is named Jimmie W. Monteith Memorial Bridge.

See also



This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Army.
  • "Jimmie Monteith: An American hero" by Clara B. Cox, Virginia Tech Magazine, vol. 31, no. 4, summer 2009, online at www.vtmagazine.vt.edu/sum09/retrospect.html
  • Since he is a "Junior," Monteith's middle name came from his father's middle name, which came from Jimmie Jr.'s great grandmother's maiden name: "Watters." Her name was Eliza V. Watters (1838-1919) before she married his great grandfather, William Manson Monteith (1822-1874).
  • Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr. Collection, Special Collections, University Libraries, Virginia Tech
  • Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr. memorabilia, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Museum, Rasche Hall, Virginia Tech
  • Balkoski, Joseph, Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944, Stackpole Books, March 2004. ( ISBN 0-8117-0079-8)
  • "Jimmie W. Monteith". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  1. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients". World War II (M–S). United States Army Center of Military History. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jimmie W. Monteith Jr". Military Times Hall of Valor. Military Times. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  3. ^ Scott M Guichard, executive director, German Club Alumni Foundation, e-mail message to Clara B. Cox, 7/20/2016, reports that Monteith was NOT a member of the German Club as was previously reported on this site.

External links

  • Medal of Honor Recipient Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., Home of Heroes profile
  • 1Lt Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., Medal of Honor citation, Army Museum, OCS Foundation
  • Medal of Honor Recipients at Va Tech
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