Medal of Honor Citation 

Original General Order

John Arthur Hughes was born 2 November 1880 in New York City, New York.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 7 March 1900, but was later discharged in order to accept a commission as a second lieutenant in December 1901.  2dLt Hughes received instruction at Marine Barracks, Boston, Massachusetts, before being sent to the Philippines in May 1902.  Promoted to first lieutenant while there on 3 March 1903, he returned to the U.S. during December 1904 for duty at Mare Island, California.

First Lieutenant Hughes was next sent in 1906 to Cuba where he was promoted to the rank of captain on 14 May 1908.  He detached for service for duty on the Isthmus of Panama in November 1909 before once again returning to the U.S. for duty at Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  On 1 February 1913, Capt Hughes was appointed an acting assistant Quartermaster for the post.

Captain Hughes served with Marine forces during the 21 April 1914 landing at Vera Cruz, Mexico, where he received both a letter of commendation and was awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished conduct in battle for the engagements that occurred on 21 and 22 April.  He briefly returned to Portsmouth in September 1914, before heading back to Vera Cruz in November of the same year.

He was placed in command of the Marine Detachment aboard the U.S.S. Delaware on 6 May 1916 and was promoted to major on 29 August 1916.  On 21 November 1916, Maj Hughes was given command of Marine Barracks, San Francisco de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic.  Less than three weeks later, he was wounded in action on 3 December 1916, sustaining a gunshot to his left leg.  By 25 December, he was back in the U.S. for duty in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Major Hughes sailed for France in the fall of 1917 for service in World War I.  He served as battalion commander for 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and saw combat with that unit at Belleau Wood (June 1918) for which he received the Navy Cross and at Soissons (July 1918).  Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 July 1918, he was gassed in September 1918 during the Saint-Mihiel offensive, which forced him to return to the U.S.   Eventually, LtCol Hughes’ wounds led to his medical retirement on 31 July 1919.  

Lieutenant Colonel Hughes passed away 25 May 1942 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Vera Cruz 1914 Medal of Honor 

Marine Corps University