Thomas A. Pope, upon his return from World War I, was one of the charter members of Edison Park Post 541, Chicago. He was the post commander in 1928 and remained an active American Legion member.
During World War I, 95 U.S. soldiers received the Medal of Honor. Mr. Pope was the last surviving one. One other winner served in the Navy.
In 1923, Mr. Pope was elected president of the Combat Medal Men, an organization of men who were awarded the honor.
He served as a contact officer for the Veterans Administration, advising other vets or their survivors about their rights. He had formerly been a district foreman for the Cook County Highway Department.
Survivors include 3 daughters, Marguerite Bugarewicz, Betty Jayne Schmitt and Jackie Stone; 8 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
DATE OF BIRTH: December 15, 1894
PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
Thomas Pope entered active duty in the U.S. Army from the Illinois National Guard.
AWARDS BY DATE OF ACTION: 1 of 1
Medal of Honor
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING World War I
Division: 33rd Division
War Department, General Orders No. 44 (April 2, 1919)
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal Thomas A. Pope (ASN: 1387320), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 4 July 1918, while serving with Company E, 131st Infantry, 33rd Division, in action at Hamel, France. Corporal Pope's company was advancing behind the tanks when it was halted by hostile machinegun fire. Going forward alone, he rushed a machinegun nest, killed several of the crew with his bayonet, and, standing astride his gun, held off the others until reinforcements arrived and captured them. His heroics continued that day as he and his platoon took 100 prisoners. The next day he was seriously gassed and then sent to an Army hospital.