HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby has a new exhibit that honors a George County man who was killed in action near the end of World War One.
The exhibit honors Lucedale native James Howell Grantham, who was the last recipient of the Navy Cross in WWI.
Grantham was a hospital apprentice first class and was awarded the medal posthumously, after being killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest on Nov. 1, 1918.
That was ten days before the end of the war.
Grantham’s family has donated his Navy Cross and other personal items to the museum.
“He was actually assigned to a Marine Corps unit and was (tending to) several Marines and one specifically he was working on, it’s my understanding that he put himself in the line of fire and was actually killed while working on this Marine,” said Tommy Lofton, director of the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum. “And again, it was just ten days before World War One ended, he almost made it home from the war. But, we’re quite honored to know now that the last Navy Cross issued in World War One went to a Mississippian and we now have it in our collection.”
Grantham’s story of bravery will be featured during the museum’s annual Memorial Day ceremony in May of 2021.