A Soldier's Story: First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz


First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz was born in San Rafael, California, on October 24, 1879. He moved with his family to New York during his teenage years. After graduating high school, First Sergeant Sydney Gustabe Gumpertz moved to Manhattan and began working as an advertising specialist with New York newspapers. 

He enlisted in the US Army on August 20, 1917, in response to World War I, and was assigned to the 132nd Infantry and deployed to France.  

First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz participated in the Battle of Hamel and Chapilly Ridge before earning a Congressional Medal of Honor on September 29, 1918, during the Argonne Defensive, when he ran, under fire, toward a machine gun nest and single-handled subdued and captured the nine enemy soldiers manning the bunker. However, he was wounded on October 8, 1918, with a gunshot to his ankle and was released from duty in May 1919.

After his return to the United States, First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz reestablished his advertising career. He also commanded the S. Rankin Drew Post of the American Legion and was the editor of the Legion Annual. 

First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz also wrote the book Jewish Legion of Valor, providing a historical account of Jewish personnel in the US Military. He also directly challenged the anti-semitism of the time through his writings and speaking engagements. 

First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz died on February 16, 1971, and rests at the Long Island National Cemetery in New York.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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