DAVID BARKLEY Biography - Military related figures


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Name: David Bennes Barkley                                                         
Born: 31 March 1899 Laredo, Texas                                                   
Died: 9 November 1918 Meuse River, France                                           
David Bennes Barkley (March 31, 1899 - November 9, 1918), often spelled Barkeley,   
was a United States Army private who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor   
for his heroic actions during World War I in France. After successfully             
completing a scouting mission behind enemy lines, he drowned as he swam back       
across the Meuse River.                                                             
Barkley was born in Laredo, Texas, the seat of Webb County, to Josef and Antonia   
(Canto) Barkley, and grew up with his Mexican-American mother. He enlisted in       
the Army when the United States entered what was then known as the Great War. He   
used his Anglo father's name to avoid being segregated into a non-combat unit.     
As a part of Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division in France, he and Sergeant   
M. Waldo Hatler swam across the Meuse River near Pouilly-sur-Meuse to get behind   
German lines and gather information about troop strength and deployments. They     
were able to gather the needed information; however, returning across the river,   
Barkley succumbed to muscle cramps and drowned. Sgt. Hatler survived to bring       
the information back to their unit.                                                 
Barkley was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He was one of three         
Texans to be awarded the Medal of Honor for action during World War I.             
Additionally, France awarded him the Croix de Guerre, and Italy the Croce al       
Merito di Guerra.                                                                   
Private Barkley lay in state at the Alamo, the second person to ever receive       
this honor. He was then buried at the San Antonio National Cemetery.               
When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side       
of the Meuse River, Pvt. Barkeley, with another soldier, volunteered without       
hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location. He succeeded in   
reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to       
prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water     
for his return, but before his goal was reached, he was seized with cramps and