The Medal of Honor is credited as being received by two Kansans during World War I. This is not quite true; two Kansans are recognized because they were residents of Kansas when they performed the duties for which they received the Medal. Five others had a Kansas connection, and for these seven, we would like to give some brief recognition.
First up is 2nd Lt. Erwin Russell Bleckley, born in Wichita on December 30, 1894. On June 6, 1917, Bleckley enlisted as a private in the Kansas National Guard, assigned to Battery F of the 1st Field Artillery, which became the 130th Field Artillery of the 35th Division. He wanted to be a pilot, but family objections brought him to the artillery. Upon arriving in France, there was a need for aerial observers, and Bleckley volunteered and was attached to the 50th Aero Squadron.
Bleckley flew his first mission on September 12, 1918. The 50th became involved in the search for the “Lost Battalion,” which had been cut off from the supply lines. Part of the mission of the 50th was dropping supplies for the Battalion. On October 6 Bleckley and pilot 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler were dropping supplies when Goettler was shot and killed. The plane crashed, and Bleckley was fatally injured. Both men would receive the Medal of Honor. Bleckley is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.
A more detailed account can be found here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_R._Bleckley