Military leader Military personnel

James I. Mestrovitch

Quick Facts

IntroUnited States Army Medal of Honor recipient
Was Military personnel
Military leader
From United States of America
Type Military
Gendermale
Birth 22 May 1894, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Death 4 November 1918, France
(aged 24 years)
Star signGemini
Awards
Medal of Honor 

Biography

James I. Mestrovitch (May 22, 1894 – November 4, 1918) was an American sergeant who received the Medal of Honor, United States highest military decoration, for his actions in World War I.

Mestrovitch, an ethnic Serb, was born as Joko Meštrović in the area of Boka Kotorska, today’s Montenegro, and after immigrating to the United States in 1913 he lived in Fresno, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During the war, Mestrovitch served at Company C, 111th Infantry, 28th Division. During the battle in Fismette in northern France, on 10 August 1918, he rescued his company commander:

Seeing his company commander lying wounded 30 yards in front of the line after his company had withdrawn to a sheltered position behind a stone wall, Sgt. Mestrovitch voluntarily left cover and crawled through heavy machinegun and shell fire to where the officer lay. He took the officer upon his back and crawled to a place of safety, where he administered first-aid treatment, his exceptional heroism saving the officer’s life.

He died from the Spanish flu one week before the armistice. During the 1920s, his remains were repatriated by a U.S. battleship from France to Montenegro, where he was buried in cemetery of Serbian Orthodox Church of St. John in his home village of Đuraševići near Tivat.