World War 1 was the first taste of modern warfare with machine guns, tanks, and aircraft. Never before had the world seen the kind of weapons wielded used in perfect concert with one another. Aircraft spotters relayed target information to artillery pieces far away from the fray. Tanks crossed the no mans land and rebuffed the rounds from machine guns that had cut down so many men. World War 1 was a chaotic learning period for many. The brutality and confusion were at an all-time high. One man's actions proved that despite the carnage and chaos, he would do right by his brothers in arms. His name? Harold Ernest Goettler, a First Lieutenant in the Army Air Service.A battalion from the 77th Division, the Lost Battalion as it's more famously known, was trapped, surrounded and running low on supplies. Lt. Harold Ernest Goettler and his spotter had already tried to drop supplies on the soldiers trapped below, but they had taken heavy fire and the supplies were dropped out of reach. Planes back then were...decidedly slower and more fragile than even the next war would produce. Yet he went anyways.This time Harold came in quite a bit lower. Due to the encirclement, the troops needed the supplies precisely placed. The only way this would happen, as Harold had gathered from his previous trip was to come in lower, and he did. As he did, his aircraft ate up enemy fire. He was grievously wounded by the enemy fire.[caption id="attachment_17974" align="alignnone" width="750"]
DH-4 similar to the one piloted by Lt. Harold Goettler[/caption]The end result was a crash that ultimately killed Lt. HaroGoettler.Goettler . His actions remind us of a saying we heard long ago,
"If our morals are only our morals when they benefit us, then they're not really our morals, they're convenient lies we tell ourselves."
Lt. Goettler's morals would not allow him to waiver from his duty, despite the knowledge that this mission would almost certainly claim his life.For his courage and bravery, Lt. Goettler was awarded the Medal of Honor.Read more stories of American Grit: