Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Naval Reserve Force

James J. Madison

  • Rank: Lieutenant Commander
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Ticonderoga
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Naval Reserve Force
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 4, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: at Sea
For exceptionally heroic service in a position of great responsibility as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, when, on 4 October 1918, that vessel was attacked by an enemy submarine and was sunk after a prolonged and gallant resistance. The submarine opened fire at a range of 500 yards, the first shots taking effect on the bridge and forecastle, one of the two forward guns of the Ticonderoga being disabled by the second shot. The fire was returned and the fight continued for nearly two hours. Lt. Comdr. Madison was severely wounded early in the fight, but caused himself to be placed in a chair on the bridge and continued to direct the fire and to maneuver the ship. When the order was finally given to abandon the sinking ship, he became unconscious from loss of blood, but was lowered into a lifeboat and was saved, with 31 others, out of a total number of 236 on board.
Medal of Honor Recipient James J. Madison
Medal of Honor Recipient James J. Madison
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Mississippi
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: May 20, 1884, Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ, United States
  • Died: December 25, 1922
  • Buried: Fairview Cemetery (G-9-22-2), Fairview, NJ, United States

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