John Arthur Hughes – Colonel, United States Marine Corps

Born in New York City on November 2, 1880, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for service at Vera Cruz, Mexico, on April 21-22, 1914 where he was serving as a Captain.

He served as an enlisted man in the Marine Corps, November 1900-December 1901, and was appointed a Second Lieutenant, December 17, 1901. He received instruction at the Marine Corps Barracks, Boston, Massachusetts. He was in the Philippines from May 12, 1902. He was promoted to First Lieutenant March 3, 1903 and returned back to the United States for service at Mare Island, California, December 15, 1904.

He was promoted to Captain May 14, 1908 and served in Cuba during 1906-08. In December 1909 he was detached for duty on the Isthmus of Panama. Back to the U.S. for duty at Marine Corps Barracks, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was appointed Acting Assistant Quartermaster, February 1, 1913. He was a Vera Cruz in April 1914 and received a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for eminent and conspicious conduct in the battle with landing forces at Vera Cruz.

Back to Portsmouth on September 21, 1914 and back to Vera Cruz on November 6, 1914. He returned to the United States and received the Medal of Honor for distinguished conduct in the battle at Vera Cruz. On May 6, 1916 he was in command of a detachment of Marines aboard the USS Delaware. In command of the Marine Barracks, San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, November 21, 1916. He was wounded in action on December 3, 1916, receiving a gunshot wound in the left leg causing a fracture. He returned to the United States, with duty at Philadelphia, December 25, 1916. He was promoted to Major, August 29, 1916 and he sailed for France in the fall of 1917. He was decorated twice by the French government for bravery in action during World War I with the Croix de Guerre with Palm. He was decorated by the  Secretary of the Navy with the Navy Cross. While in France he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

He died on May 25, 1942 and was buried in Section 8 of Arlington National Cemetery.



Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 2 November 1880, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 177, 4 December 1915. Other Navy award: Navy Cross.


For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Capt. Hughes was in both days’ fighting at the head of his company, and was eminent and conspicuous in his conduct, leading his men with skill and courage.

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
1st Battalion, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: June 10 – 13, 1918


The Navy Cross is presented to John A. Hughes, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service as Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment Marines. In the operations of his battalion at Belleau Woods from the 10th to the 13th of June, 1918, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes showed himself a gallant, courageous and determined commander of men.

Inflicting severe losses on the enemy, capturing many prisoners, twenty machine guns, six minnenwerfers and other booty. The brilliant success of this battalion was in a great measure due to his coolness in all crises, unfailing good humor and accurate judgment. Lieutenant Colonel Hughes led his men superbly under most trying conditions against the most distinguished elements of the German Army, administering to those organizations their first defeat.
Other Award: Medal of Honor (Mexican Campaign)


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