Part of a series of articles titled Citizen Soldiers.
The Croix de Guerre is a French military award created during World War I. It can be awarded to individuals and units both from France and from allied nations for valiant service in action.
In early April 1918, the 104th Infantry Regiment, which was made up of soldiers from Massachusetts, was stationed in the Ardennes near the town of Bois Brule, when their position was attacked by the Germans. After fierce fighting in the trenches, including hand-to -hand combat, the 104th were able to hold their position.
For their gallantry, the 104th Infantry Regiment was given the Croix de Guerre on April 28, 1918. It was the first American unit to be honored by a foreign power for exceptional bravery in combat.
A mural of French General Fenelon Passaga pinning the medal to the regimental flag was painted in the Massachusetts State House in 1937 by Richard Andrew.
To learn more, watch the 26th Yankee Division Croix de Guerre video produced by the Massachusetts National Guard.
Last updated: June 28, 2022