b. 08/10/1898 Westville, South Carolina. d. 13/08/1933 South Carolina.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 11/10/1918 Brancourt, France.
Hilton was born in Westville, South Carolina, and joined the army in Westville, assigned to Company M, 118th Infantry, 30th Division. On October 11, 1918, while fighting near Brancourt, France, Hilton's unit was held up by intense machine gun and small arms fire. Sgt. Hilton recognized that the machine gun fire was coming from a shell crater just ahead of them. Accompanied by several other soldiers, but moving out well ahead of them, Sgt. Hilton engaged the machine gun, using his rifle until his ammunition ran out, then using his pistol, killing six German soldiers, and capturing ten others. In the course of this action he was wounded by an exploding shell, which resulted in the loss of an arm.
After his discharge from the army, he returned home to Kershaw County a hero. He joined the Civitan Club of Columbia, of which he was a proud member. He was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal by Great Britain, the Médaille militaire and Croix de Guerre with Palm by France, the Croce al Merito di Guerre by Italy, the Cruz de Guerra by Portugal, and the Bravery Medal by Montenegro. All were awarded for bravery in the face of the enemy.
While Sgt. Hilton's company was advancing through the village of Brancourt it was held up by intense enfilading fire from a machinegun. Discovering that this fire came from a machinegun nest among shell holes at the edge of the town, Sgt. Hilton, accompanied by a few other soldiers, but well in advance of them, pressed on toward this position, firing with his rifle until his ammunition was exhausted, and then with his pistol, killing 6 of the enemy and capturing 10. In the course of this daring exploit he received a wound from a bursting shell, which resulted in the loss of his arm.
BURIAL LOCATION: QUAKER CEMETERY, CAMDEN, SOUTH CAROLINA.
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