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In Their Words
A Hero of Soissons: Samuel Iredell Parker (1891-1975)
A native of North Carolina, Samuel “SI” Parker entered military service in 1917 on the day America declared war. He served as a Second Lieutenant with Company K, 28th Infantry, First Division, taking part in all the Division’s major campaigns. He distinguished himself as platoon leader in the first wave of the Battle of Cantigny and later earned the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Soissons.
As World War I came to an end, Parker emerged as a First Lieutenant and one of America’s most decorated soldiers. Parker continued to serve through the occupation until discharged from active military service on September 25, 1919, at which time he entered the Reserve Corps.
With America’s entry into World War II, Parker was recalled to active service and commissioned a Major. During the war, Parker developed and taught an officer’s training course in leadership using a textbook he authored entitled “Combat Leadership.” Upon his retirement in 1945, Parker returned to North Carolina and continued to exemplify the qualities of leadership in his civilian life. He served in numerous civic positions, including several boards of directors as well as the Vice President of the National Conference on Citizenship and as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
On loan to the First Division Museum at Cantigny from the family of Samuel I. Parker