Small Oval portrait photo of Charles E. Kilborne wearing his dress uniform with an impressive array of military medals, most prominent is the Medal of Honor.
Although a small oval photograph, it is to say the least, a most impressive image of Lt. Charles E. Kilborne, the only Signal Corps officer to be awarded the MOH while performing a combat mission during the Philippine Insurrection. The image captures Kilborne in his full dress uniform wearing not only the Medal of Honor, but also up to this time (Circa no later than 1912) wearing campaign medals for Spanish War, Philippine Insurrection, China Campaign Medal, U.S. Army 8th Corps Medal (Philippines), and the Order of the Dragon.
His MOH citation reads: “Within … 250 yards of the enemy and in the face of rapid fire, [he] climbed a telegraph pole at the east end of [Paco Bridge] and, in full view of the enemy, coolly and carefully repaired a broken telegraph wire, thereby re-establishing telegraphic communication to the front.”
The image is approximately 3.5 x 5 inches, with overall mounted size, 5.25 x 7 inches approx. It is a fine quality photograph. The only markings on the mount are “International” and this may be part of the Photographers studio name.
Charles Kiborne was the first American soldier to earn his Countries three highest military decorations: The MOH on 5 Feb. 1899; The Distinguished Service Cross on 12 September, 1918 (for heroism in action while Chief of Staff to the 89th Division Commander- Leonard Wood, and the Distinguished Service Medal for services in the 89th Division and the 36th Artillery Brigade in WWI.
He was promoted to Major General in 1936 and given command of the 2nd Infantry Division until his retirement. He served 9 years as superintendent at VMI. He passed away in 1963. There is much more information on General Kilborne available on line. He had a most interesting and active career.