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Jamaica on March 31, 1899, with a stiff breeze blowing and a considerable sea running, when Peter Mahoney, water tender, U. S. Navy, accidentally fell overboard. Mahoney was unable to swim and seeing him sinking Chief Master-at-Arms John Stokes instantly leaped into the sea, swam to the sinking man and kept him above water until a boat could be lowered from the ship to rescue them, for which self-sacrificing act of gallantry he was presented the medal of honor.
Sergeant J. H. Helms, U. S. M. C., was awarded the medal of honor for jumping overboard from the U. S. S. Chicago, off Montevideo, Uruguay, on January 10, 1901, and rescuing Ishi Tomazo, warrant officers' steward, from drowning. Helms was in full uniform and wore his belt and side-arms, but did not stop even long enough to remove his belt, and the order states that it was the second time he had performed a similar act.
The U. S. S. Hornet and U. S. S. Wompatuck, two small vessels of the blockading squadron off the coast of Cuba, were engaging the shore forces of the enemy at Manzanillo when the Hornet was disabled by the enemy fire and had to be towed out by the Wompatuck. To secure the towing lines to the disabled vessel required skillful work and cool daring under fire, and the work was so well done by Mate Frederick Muller, U. S. Navy, that he was promoted to the rank of boatswain and awarded the medal of honor.
During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900 there was hot fighting for the soldiers, sailors and marines of the International Relief Forces all the way from the sea at Tientsin over the go miles of swamp and plain to the capital at Peking, and many deeds of valor were recorded in the reports and accounts of the running fight.
During the advance along the Pei-Ho River on June 20 the column was being subjected to the fire of Chinese snipers, concealed behind salt ricks and wooden shacks across the river. A squad of four men, led by Corporal E. N. Appleton, U. S. M. C., with Privates Burns and Heisch, U. S. M. C., and Coal Passer McAllister, U. S. Navy, volunteered to cross the river in a small row-boat and set fire to the shacks that afforded cover to the enemy. They carried out this undertaking under heavy fire, which wounded two of them, and were entirely successful. For the performance of this hazardous voluntary duty under a fire
The Distinguished Conduct Medal was established in 1854 by Queen Victoria to reward non-commissioned officers and privates of the army “for distinguished conduct in the field." This medal, usually known as the D. C. M., is of silver suspended from an ornamental scroll clasp. On the obverse is the head of the reigning sovereign and on the reverse the legend, “For distinguished conduct in the field.” The ribbon is red, blue, red, in stripes of equal width
The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal was originally authorized during the Crimean war and again in 1874 to reward petty officers and men of the navy and non-commissioned officers and privates of the marines for conspicuous gallantry in action. It corresponds to the Distinguished Conduct Medal for the army. The medal is of silver and bears on the obverse the head of the reigning sovereign and on the reverse the legend, “ For conspicuous gallantry,” surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by a crown. The ribbon is blue, white, blue, in stripes of equal width.
The Military Medal was sanctioned by King George V in March, 1916, to reward non-commissioned officers and men of the army who have been recommended by the commanding general in the field for acts of bravery. It is a silver medal with the effigy of the king on the obverse and the inscription, “For bravery in the field,” surrounded by a wreath surmounted by a crown, on the reverse. The ribbon is dark blue with five narrow stripes through the center, two red and three white.
The Distinguished Service Medal, established in October, 1914, is awarded to petty officers and men of the navy and to non-commissioned officers and privates of the marines “ who show themselves to the fore in action and set an example of bravery under fire.” It corresponds to the Military Medal for the army. It is a silver medal, bearing on the obverse the bust of King George V in the uniform of an admiral and on the reverse the legend, “ For distinguished service," surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by a crown. The ribbon is blue with two narrow white stripes through the center.
BELGIAN WAR DECORATIONS The Belgian War Cross was established on October 25, 1915, as a decoration to reward all persons who have been mentioned in