Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Interim 1920 - 1940 - U.S. Navy

Henry Clay Drexler

  • Rank: Ensign
  • Conflict/Era: Interim 1920 - 1940
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Trenton
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 20, 1924
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Virginia Cape, Norfolk, on board the U.S.S. Trenton, Virginia
For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of a fire on board the U.S.S. Trenton. At 3:35 on the afternoon of 20 October 1924, while the Trenton was preparing to fire trial installation shots from the two 6-inch guns in the forward twin mount of that vessel, two charges of powder ignited. Twenty men were trapped in the twin mount. Four died almost immediately and 10 later from burns and inhalation of flames and gases. The six others were severely injured. Ens. Drexler, without thought of his own safety, on seeing that the charge of powder from the left gun was ignited, jumped for the right charge and endeavored to put it in the immersion tank. The left charge burst into flame and ignited the right charge before Ens. Drexler could accomplish his purpose. He met his death while making a supreme effort to save his shipmates.
Medal of Honor Recipient Henry C. Drexler
Medal of Honor Recipient Henry C. Drexler
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: February 3, 1933
  • Born: August 7, 1901, Braddock, Allegheny County, PA, United States
  • Died: October 20, 1924, On board U.S.S. Trenton, at sea
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (4-3051), Arlington, VA, United States

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