Medal of Honor Heroes Of
the Spanish-American War

On the dark night of February 15, 1898 the USS Maine was riding anchor in the harbor at Havana, Cuba when it was rocked by a horrible explosion.  When daylight dawned the newest and most powerful ship of the American fleet rested on the bottom of the harbor, 260 of its crew and officers were either dead or missing.

Though subsequent inquiry never established the cause of the explosion, at home in the United States it was widely believed that the disaster had been a planned attack by Cuban forces loyal to Spain.  In the months that followed, the cry "Remember the Maine" became a call for war, and the excuse for the United States to launch the first attack in what would become the Spanish-American War. 

On the morning of May 1, 1898 Commodore George Dewey sailed his Asiatic fleet into Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands.  In a 6-hour naval battle he destroyed the Spanish squadron, giving the United States its first victory of the war and establishing the United States Navy as the preeminent naval force in the world.  Over the next 120 days the United States and Spain waged war in the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico.  In these battles 110 American soldiers, sailors and marines would see their valor rewarded with the Medals of Honor.

Franz Anton Itrich
Chief Carpenter's Mate, U.S. Navy

Born:   Nov 26, 1853 at Gross Katz, Germany
Entered Service:   California
Date/Place of Action:  May 01, 1898 - Manila, Philippine Islands
Unit:   U.S.S. Petrel
Presentation:  Presented on Dec 05, 1900
Date of Death:  Jun 11, 1933
Buried at:   San Francisco National Cemetery - San Francisco, CA

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