by the President in the Name of the Congress, it is the highest honor
that can be bestowed upon any American. The men who wear it call
themselves "recipients" (not winners), for what they
received it for was not a contest...it was a time of terror and death
where their valor was tested, then recognized by a grateful Nation.
All of them feel that they didn't win The Medal...they RECEIVED
it. Frequently called "The Congressional Medal of
Honor", its true title is simply:
Medal of Honor was created in 1861. Today there are three types
of MOH: Army, Air Force, and Navy.
the first award of the MOH made March 25, 1863, during the Civil War,
through Operation Enduring Freedom (War in Iraq) there have been:
Medals of Honor awarded to our nation's bravest Soldiers, Sailors,
Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and eight civilians
3,461 separate acts of heroism
by 3,448 individuals (including 9
of June 2, 2008)
of June 2008, there are 105 MOH recipients still with us: 30 - WWII,
14 - Korea, and 61 - Vietnam.
DETAILS ON ALL MOH RECIPIENTS GO TO SOURCES
CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY- MOH
IS THE NATION
THAT HAS NO HEROES;
SHAMEFUL IS THE NATION THAT HAS THEM AND FORGETS
From a military monument at
HONOR RECIPIENTS PASSING THROUGH PANAMA
NAVY (MOH 1924)
1900 - 1941
presented the Medal of Honor March 8, 1924 by President Calvin
Coolidge in Washington, DC., for his heroic rescue of a fellow
Shreaves Dockmaster and foreman shipwright for the
Panama Canal Mechanical Division --
Qualified diver and
supervisor of the Panama Canal’s highly proficient salvage
and diving crew
Shreaves was awarded the Congressional
Life Saving Medal for his heroic efforts in ensuring the
raising of the sunken sub against time which permitted the
rescue of Breault and Brown from the sub.
His being underwater and in
his diving suit for almost 24 hours set a new record for the
longest duration dives up to that time.
|Torpedoman’s Mate Second Class
Henry Breault was awarded the Medal of Honor for his
uncommon valor in rescuing a fellow shipmate on
board U.S. submarine O-5 (SS-66) when it sank October 28, 1923, in
Limon Bay at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. At the
time of the accident, the O-5 was operating with other
the U.S. Atlantic Fleet under the command of Commander Submarine
Force, Coco Solo, Canal Zone. After colliding with the SS Abangarez,
a United Fruit Company boat, the O-5 sank within a
minute, during which time all but five of the 21
onboard the submarine had managed to abandon it before
it sank and were quickly rescued alive.
Upon hearing the order to
abandon the O-5, 23-year-old Breault escaped to the main
deck, but he quickly realized that his friend, Chief Lawrence T.
Brown, was asleep in the forward battery room. Breault,
with more concern for warning Brown than for saving his own life,
dropped into the O-5, as she was sinking, securing the
hatch cover. After reaching Brown with water engulfing them,
the two attempted to escape through the conning tower, but the deluge blocked that
route. They struggled back into the forward torpedo room and
forced shut its watertight door where they remained for 31 hours
until the sub was lifted to the surface and they were rescued.
(The bodies of two other shipmates, who had drowned while
abandoning the sub, were
recovered and buried in Mt. Hope cemetery on the Atlantic side
of the Canal Zone; that of a third shipmate was never
Any attempt to rescue them could not be
attempted until the sub could be raised sufficiently above water.
At a time when modern rescue and safety devices did
not exist, and while submarines were still in their infancy, it
remains a remarkable feat that the two men strapped in the O-5 were
not only rescued, but that their submarine was raised quickly
thereafter. The convergence of incredible luck
in appropriate specialized equipment to raise up the sunken sub
having been fairly close at hand (within some 50 miles of the
accident site) with the efforts of an experienced diver of the
Panama Canal salvage and diving crew -- Sheppard Shreaves -- and
much perseverance made the difference against all odds.
Had the Abangarez and
the O-5 collision occurred elsewhere, Breault and Brown
would have perished for want of the rare combination of humanity
and technology that was required to effect their rescue and which
made the O-5 incident unique in the annals of submarine
of personnel from within a disabled submarine was not duplicated
until 16 years later in 1939 when 33 men were saved from the USS
Squalus (SS-192) through the use of a submarine rescue
chamber. (For his heroic
rescue efforts following that accident off the coast near
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Navy diver Navy Chief Machinist's Mate
William Badders received the Medal
of Honor. After retiring from the Navy, Badders became
master diver-salvage master for the Panama Canal organization.) #
Born in Putnam, Connecticut, on
October 14, 1900, Breault enlisted in the British Royal Navy at sixteen
years of age and, after serving for four
years, he joined the U.S. Navy. Following twenty years of U.S.
Navy service, he became ill with a heart condition. He
died at the Naval Hospital at Newport, Rhode Island, on December
and above photos from The O-5 is Down! by Julius Grigore,
Jr.(Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve), in U.S.
Naval Institute Proceedings, February 1972. To
view that complete account of the sinking of the O-5 sinking and
rescue and salvage efforts, GO TO.
Center website http://www.history.navy.mil/
- Photo of Medal of Honor presentation and photo captions.
of Heroes.com, Medal of Honor citation.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Second Class, U.S. Navy
October, 1900, Putnam, Conn. Accredited to: Vermont
125, 20 February 1924
heroism and devotion to duty while serving on board the U.S.
Submarine O-5 at the time of the sinking of that vessel. On the
morning of 28 October 1923, the O-5 collided with the steamship
Abangarez and sank in less than a minute. When the collision
occurred, Breault was in the torpedo room. Upon reaching the hatch,
he saw that the boat was rapidly sinking. Instead of jumping
overboard to save his own life, he returned to the torpedo room to
the rescue of a shipmate whom he knew was trapped in the boat,
closing the torpedo room hatch on himself. Breault and [Chief
Electrician’s Mate Lawrence T.] Brown remained trapped in this
compartment until rescued by the salvage party 31 hours later.
Second Class Henry Breault, USN (center)
receiving the Medal of Honor from President Calvin Coolidge,
in ceremonies at the White House, Washington, D.C., on 8
March 1924. Breault was awarded the Medal of Honor for
heroism in rescuing a shipmate during the sinking of USS O-5
(SS-66) on 28 October 1923 in Limon Bay, Panama Canal Zone.
[Navy photo #: NH 52788 from http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/pers-us/uspers-b/
Citation courtesy of Home
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