Skip to main content

Marine Corp Private Henry Lewis Hulbert - Philippine Insurrection

USCIS West Palm Beach Florida Field Office and Application Support Center

Picture of Marine Corp Private Henry Lewis Hulbert

Henry Lewis Hulbert was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, England; immigrated to the United States; and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 28, 1898 as a 31-year-old Private.

After earning the Medal of Honor in 1899, he earned additional high honors for bravery in World War I. He lost his life in a battle in which he earned one of those honors.

Hulbert was assigned to the USS Philadelphia out of boot camp,and in April 1899,  was engaged in fierce combat during a combined British-American expedition in Samoa, in the South Pacific.

When the landing force of British and American Marines and seamen was ambushed by a large enemy force, Hulbert, despite suffering wounds, conducted a one-man delaying action that enabled the landing force to withdraw to a defensible position covered by the guns of the warships offshore.

Under fire from three sides, he stood his ground, refusing to withdraw until the main body had established a new defensive perimeter. Single-handedly he held off the attackers, while at the same time he protected two mortally wounded officers. 

Hulbert was awarded the Medal of Honor:

“For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy at Samoa, Philippine Islands, 1 April 1899.” —from Henry Lewis Hulbert’s Medal of Honor citation

  By age 50, Hulbert had attained the grade of Gunner, the Marine Corps' senior noncommissioned officer of that grade, but was considered too old for combat when World War I broke out. He pressed his superiors to be sent into the fight.

While in France, 51-year old Gunner Hulbert was assigned as a platoon leader with the 66th Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Wounded in his regiment's first major engagement, at Belleau Wood on June 6, 1918, Hulbert was twice cited in official orders for acts of bravery. On one occasion, armed only with a rifle, he single-handedly attacked German machine-gun positions.

The second citation commended him for continuing to lead his platoon in attacks that routed the defenders of a series of enemy strong points, despite being painfully wounded himself.

A third act of heroism led him to be decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. At Soissons, France, he was again wounded, but was cited for bravery yet again, commissioned a Second Lieutenant and immediately promoted to First Lieutenant.

Hulbert was killed in action Oct. 4, 1918, during a long, fierce battle in which about 1,000 U.S. Marines attacked a key German strong point at Blanc Mont Ridge in France’s Champagne region. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and cited for bravery a fourth time.

The French government bestowed the Croix de Guerre Order of the Army upon this "most gallant soldier." whom the U.S. posthumously promoted to Captain.

Hulbert rests in Arlington National Cemetery.

This text is from the official citations, military historical records, obituaries and other text posted on the Internet, including, and the Military Times Hall of Valor.


Last Reviewed/Updated: