Jimmie W. Monteith
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.
Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr.
Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., circa 1944
|Born||July 1, 1917|
Low Moor, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||June 6, 1944 (aged 26)|
near Colleville-sur-mer, Normandy, France
|Place of burial|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1941–1944|
|Unit||Company L, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Medal of Honor |
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 the D-Day invasion that he was killed.
Military awards and other honorsEdit
First Lieutenant Monteith's awards include :
|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 citationEdit
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 20 (March 29, 1945)
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.
- Camp Monteith
- 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.
- "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.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". World War II (M–S). United States Army Center of Military History. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Jimmie W. Monteith Jr". Military Times Hall of Valor. Military Times. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- 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.