Born in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania, in 1877, he earned the Medal of Honor while serving in Company A, 43rd United States Infantry, United States Volunteers, in the Philippines Insurrection on May 6, 1900, at Hilongas, Leyte, Philippine Islands. The Medal was actually presented to him on March 11, 1902.
He died on July 31, 1943 and was buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.
MACLAY, WILLIAM P.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 43d Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Hilongas, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 6 May 1900. Entered service at: Altoona, Pennsylvania. Birth: Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania. Date of issue: 11 March 1902.
Charged an occupied bastion, saving the life of an officer in a hand-to-hand combat and destroying the enemy.
WILLIAM P.MCCLAY, 1899 WAR HERO, 66
Congressional Medal Winner Dead – Killed 13 To Save Captain In Philippines
Served Also In 1917-18
Held Commission For Duty In Virginia – Attended Burial Of Unknown Soldier
PHILADELPHIA, August 2, 1943 – William P. McClay, holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor and a veteran of two wars, died Saturday night in the Naval Hospital here after a long illness. He was 66 years old.
Mr. McClay, who enlisted in the Army in 1899 for srvice in the Philippine Islands, was awarded the highest honor of the Nation for killing thirteen Filipinos and saving the life of his Captain. At the end of thePhilippine Insurrection he had been elevated to the rank of Captain.
Mr. McCaly, whose home was in the Overbrook sectionof the city, was one of three Philadelphians holding the Congressional Medal of Honor to participated in ceremonies attending the burialof the Unknown Soldier of the Wrold War in Arlington National Cemetery.
At the outbreakofthe First World War, he was commissioned a First Lieutenant and stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia, for the duration. Since then he had worked as a tipstaff and crier for theState Superior Court and at his death was Chief Clerkof the Procurement Division ofthe Quartermaster Depot here. He was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
Mr. McClay leavesa widow, Mrs. Daisty Mcclay, and two daughter, Katherine and Regina. Burial will be in Arlington Cemetery with full militaryhonors.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard