James Lee O'Neal was born in California, Mo. and enlisted at Jefferson City, Mo. on 20 Nov. 1917. He served with "Co. L, 7th Infantry". Wounded Oct. 8, 1918 and remained in the Hospital until discharged 22 May 1919. At time of discharge, he was listed as being a Private, in "1st Co., 164th D. B. Bn".
Newspaper Clipping reads:
St. Louis, Mo.--Oct. 8--The formal decoration, with the Distinguished Service Cross, of Private James Lee O'Neal, 19 years old, 7700 South Broadway, will be the occasion tomarrow morning of a parade and review of troops at Jefferson Barracks, where the cross will, in the presence of the troops, be pinned on him by Col. Munroe McFarland, the barracks Commandant.
O'Neal was decorated for volunteering to carry messages through machine gun fire so hot that the commanding officer would not order any man to attempt it. The action was at Sierge, Oct. 5. Three days later O'Neal was wounded.
He was a member of L Company, Seventh Infantry, a regular Army unit. He also was decorated with the Italian War Cross for heroism on the front following the Caporetto disaster. He is the son of James O'Neal.
O'Neal formerly resided here and was employed at the Paul Hunt Bookstore. He formerly resided at California and is a brother of Jes O'Neal, employed at the Madison Hotel.
(Photo and information above contributed by his daughter, Dorothea (Dollie) O'Neal Webb.)