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CMOHS.org - Chief Boatswain's Mate MacKENZIE, JOHN, U.S. Navy

Recipient Detail



Rank: Chief Boatswain's Mate
Organization: U.S. Navy
Born: 7 July 1886, Bridgeport, Conn.
Departed: Yes
Entered Service At:
G.O. Number: 391
Date of Issue: 12/31/1918
Accredited To: Massachusetts
Place / Date:


For extraordinary heroism while serving on board the U.S.S. Remlik, on the morning of 17 December 1917, when the Remlik encountered a heavy gale. During this gale, there was a heavy sea running. The depth charge box on the taffrail aft, containing a Sperry depth charge, was washed overboard, the depth charge itself falling inboard and remaining on deck. MacKenzie, on his own initiative, went aft and sat down on the depth charge, as it was impracticable to carry it to safety until the ship was headed up into the sea. In acting as he did, MacKenzie exposed his life and prevented a serious accident to the ship and probable loss of the ship and the entire crew.