Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Herbert Emery Schonland

  • Rank: Lieutenant Commander (Highest Rank: Rear Admiral)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. San Francisco
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 12 - 13, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Iron Bottom Sound, Savo Island, Solomon Islands
For extreme heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as damage control officer of the U.S.S. San Francisco in action against greatly superior enemy forces in the battle off Savo Island, 12-13 November 1942. In the same violent night engagement in which all of his superior officers were killed or wounded, Lt. Comdr. Schonland was fighting valiantly to free the San Francisco of large quantities of water flooding the second deck compartments through numerous shell holes caused by enemy fire. Upon being informed that he was commanding officer, he ascertained that the conning of the ship was being efficiently handled, then directed the officer who had taken over that task to continue while he himself resumed the vitally important work of maintaining the stability of the ship. In water waist deep, he carried on his efforts in darkness illuminated only by hand lanterns until water in flooded compartments had been drained or pumped off and watertight integrity had again been restored to the San Francisco. His great personal valor and gallant devotion to duty at great peril to his own life were instrumental in bringing his ship back to port under her own power, saved to fight again in the service of her country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Herbert E. Schonland
Medal of Honor Recipient Herbert E. Schonland
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Portland, Cumberland County, Maine
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 5, 1943
    The White House (Oval Office), presented by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Born: September 7, 1900, Portland, Cumberland County, ME, United States
  • Died: November 13, 1984, New London, CT, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (7-A-168), Arlington, VA, United States

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