Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Interim 1915 - 1916 - U.S. Navy

Charles H. Willey

Details
  • Rank: Machinist
  • Conflict/Era: Interim 1915 - 1916
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Memphis
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 29, 1916
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: off Santo Domingo City, Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo
Citation
For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession while serving on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when that vessel was suffering total destruction from a hurricane while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916. Machinist Willey took his station in the engineer's department and remained at his post of duty amidst scalding steam and the rush of thousands of tons of water into his department as long as the engines would turn, leaving only when ordered to leave. When the boilers exploded, he assisted in getting the men out of the fireroom and carrying them into the engineroom, where there was air instead of steam to breathe. Machinist Willey's conduct on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles H. Willey
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles H. Willey
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Massachusetts
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: March 31, 1889, East Boston, Suffolk County, MA, United States
  • Died: September 11, 1977, Manchester, NH, United States
  • Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery (PMH) (B-81), Concord, NH, United States
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