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   Interim (1919-1929)  

Recipients Of The

Navy Cross

(This listing is as complete as we are able to provide from numerous resources, however it is possible that a few recipients may not be listed.  You can verify if someone received the Navy Cross from this list, but absence of a name should NOT be construed to definitively negate a veteran's claim to this award.)

1919 - 1929 

2nd Nicaraguan 

1929 - 1941 

Statistics:

Analysis of WW1 Era Awards

USN

USMC

USCG

Total
 NC Trans-Atlantic Flights (1919) 14 -- 1 15

 2nd Haitian Campaign  (1919-1920)

--

9

--

9

 Miscellaneous Awards (1924-1926) 5 -- -- 5

 Lake Denmark Fire (Jul 10, 1926) 

4

16

--

20

 S-51 Rescue and Salvage (1926) 12 -- -- 12
 Nanking: Sino-Japanese War (Mar 21, 1927) 4 -- -- 4

 S-4 Rescue and Salvage (1927)

12

--

--

12

 Submarine Escape Device ( 1928 - 1931) 8 -- -- 8

 

 
nc4_crew_painting.jpg (102434 bytes)NC Trans-Atlantic Flights
(May 8 - 27, 1919)

15 Navy Crosses

During World War I the U.S. Navy used a 4-engine (3 in front and 1 behind pushing) Navy-Curtiss Flying Boat for anti-submarine patrols.  Shortly after the end of the war, four of these numbered NC-1 through NC-4 were tasked with attempting to make the first trans-Atlantic crossing.  NC-2 was cannibalized for parts when its engine layout proved unsatisfactory, thus on May 8, 1919, only three of the seaplanes was able to depart Rockaway, NY, in an effort to reach Lisbon, Portugal by way of New Foundland and the Azores Islands.

The crews of all three flying boats braved unknown dangers and a myriad of emergencies, but on May 27 the NC-4 reached Lisbon, completing the first aerial crossing from North America to Europe.  The 4,526 mile journey was completed  in 53 hours, 58 minutes.

Though neither NC-1 or NC-3 completed the mission, their crews demonstrated great initiative and courage.  The NC-1 went down at sea where the crew was rescued and the airplane sunken to avoid it becoming a hazard to shipping.  The crew of the NC-3 also went down at sea in a gale and was feared lost.  The courageous men endured two days in the battered airplane, wallowing in 30-foot waves.  The men drank rusty water from the radiators while NC-3 drifted backward for 200 miles to finally reach the Azores

The crews of all three aircraft survived the history effort and were awarded the Navy Cross.  One crewman died after the flight but before the awards were presented.

Name

Rank/Rating

Branch

Aircraft

Position

Bellinger, Patrick N. L.

Commander

USN

NC-1

 Commander

Mitcher, Marc Andrew

Lieutenant Commander

USN

NC-1

 Pilot

*Barin, Louis T.

Lieutenant

USN

NC-1

 Co-Pilot

Sadenwater, Harry

Lieutenant

USN

NC-1

 Radio

Christensen, Rasmus

Machinist

USN

NC-1

 Engineer

Kesler, Clarence Irwin

Chief Machinist's Mate

USN

NC-1

 Engineer

Richardson, Holden B.

Commander

USN

NC-3

 Pilot

McCulloch, David H.

Lieutenant

USN

NC-3

 Co-Pilot

Lavender, Robert A.

Lieutenant Commander

USN

NC-3

 Radio

Moore, Lloyd R.

Boatswain

USN

NC-3

 Engineer

Stone, Elmer Fowler

Lieutenant

USCG

NC-4

 Pilot

Hinton, Walter

Lieutenant (j.g.)

USN

NC-4

 Co-Pilot

Rodd, Herbert C.

Lieutenant (j.g.)

USN

NC-4

 Radio

Rhoades, Eugene S.

Chief Machinist's Mate (Air)

USN

NC-1

 Engineer

Breese, James L.

Lieutenant

USN

NC-4

 Engineer

znc4postcard.jpg (58445 bytes) *Two members of the mission did not receive Navy Crosses for this action.  Mission Commander for the NC flights was Commander John H. Towers who also served as navigator for NC-3.  Towers did receive the Navy Cross during World War I for his work in Naval Aviation.  His broader citation may have been intended to cover his role in the trans-Atlantic flights as well.

Lieutenant Commander Albert C. Read, who had initially been assigned to pilot the NC-2, was assigned as commander for the NC-4.  Though the success of his seaplane made him a national figure and brought great acclaim, he was not awarded the Navy Cross.

Full Text Citations

 

 
2nd Haitian Campaign (1919-20
)

9 Navy Crosses

Following the first Haitian Campaign of 1915 during which six Marines earned Medals of Honor and one the Navy Cross, the unrest diminished under the aggressive patrols of Marines stationed on the island.  The emergence four years later of new rebel leadership under Charlemagne Peralte led to increased combat activity and other new leaders including Benoit Batraville.  During the 2nd Haitian Campaign two Marines earned Medals of Honor for the capture of Peralte.  Nine Marines earned Navy Crosses from 1920 to 1930 in continuing actions, including four Marines who earned the Navy Cross for attacking a large rebel force and killing Bratville on May 19, 1920.

Name

Rank/Rating

Branch

Date

Hanneken, Herman Henry (1st Award)
 
Also Earned MOH in Haiti
   Earned 2nd Award in Nicaragua

First Lieutenant USMC Mar 31 - Apr 1, 1920

Villars, Roy L.

Corporal USMC April 16, 1920

Entrekin, Emery L.

Private USMC May 19, 1920

Passmore, William F.

Sergeant USMC May 19, 1920

Perkins, Jesse L.

Captain USMC May 19, 1920

Taubert, Albert A. (2nd Award)
Earned First Award in World War I

Sergeant USMC May 19, 1920

Blanchard, John D.

Second Lieutenant USMC December 6, 1929

Russell, John H.

Colonel USMC December 6, 1929

Paul, William

First Sergeant USMC May 12, 1930

Full Text Citations

 

  
Miscellaneous Awards (1919-26)
4 Navy Crosses

 S.S. Acoma Sinking
Country, Timothy Ship's Cook First Class

USNRF

Feb 10 & 11, 1919


 USSC-223 Incident
Cavenah, Rupert O. Chief Machinist's Mate

USN

Jun 12, 1924


 Trenton Disaster
Foster, Paul F. Lieutenant Commander

USN

Oct 20, 1924 

The USS Trenton was preparing to fire trial installation shots from two 6-inch guns on the afternoon of October 20, 1924 when two charges of powder ignited.  Twenty men were trapped in the twin mount; four died almost immediately and ten died of injuries later.  Three men received Navy Crosses for heroic efforts to contain the fire and rescue the injured.  George Cholister and Henry Drexler both died in their heroic efforts.  Their Navy Cross awards were subsequently upgraded to posthumous Medals of Honor.  Lieutenant Commander Paul Foster, who earned the Medal of Honor at Vera Cruz Mexico, received the Navy Cross for his own heroism in the disaster.


 Antinoe Rescue
Fried, George Lieutenant

USN

Jan 24 - 28, 1926


At about 0750, on Tuesday, 20 April 1926, USS S-49's engines were started. Seven minutes later, just as a pilot cell cover was removed to test the specific gravity of the electrolyte, the forward battery exploded. The hydrogen gas explosion destroyed the cells in the forward half of the main storage battery and forced up the deck over the battery well. Ten men were injured. Two others were gassed during subsequent rescue operations. Four of the twelve died of their injuries. The battery compartment was sealed and kept shut, until mid-afternoon, when the outboard battery vent was opened. During the night, the submarine took on a slight list to port and air pressure was used to keep ballast. At about 0515 on the 21st, a second explosion occurred in the battery room when wash from vessels departing for torpedo practice rocked USS S-49. The compartment was resealed for another few hours, after which the work of clearing the wreckage was begun. Lieutenant Hilyer Gearing was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism in this tragic accident.

 S-49 Incident
Gearing, Hilyer F. Lieutenant

USN

April 20, 1926

 

 
Lake Denmark Fire
 (July 10, 1926
)

20 Navy Crosses (8 Posthumously)

On July 10, 1926, the Lake Denmark Naval Ammunition Depot was struck by lightening causing massive damage, the deaths of nineteen, and scores injured.  Fortunately it was Saturday and most crews were out of the buildings most damaged in the explosion.  Twenty men received Navy Crosses for their heroism in the aftermath, which spread to numerous nearby buildings and rocked houses inside the town.  Eight of the men who were so recognized, died in their moment of valor.


Name

Rank/Rating

Branch Date of Action

  Alfson, Orlando M.

Private First Class

USMC

July 10, 1926

 *Barker, Virgle C.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Brown, Edward A.

Lieutenant Commander

USN

July 10, 1926

  Brown, Harry C.

Pharmacist's Mate First Class

USN

July 10, 1926

  Bush, George J. G.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Clarke, Burwell H.

Captain

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Eidson, Mason D.

Trumpeter

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Gately, Joseph M.

Chief Gunner

USN

July 10, 1926

*Graham, Ralph V. P.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

  Granger, Warren Laise

Quartermaster Sergeant

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Hardaker, Maurice R.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

  Kensick, Casmer M.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

  Lewis, Marvin

Corporal

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Little, John A.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Mackert, Henry D., Jr.

Private First Class

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Monroe, John W.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Powell, Ernest

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Rachford, Frederick J.

Corporal

USMC

July 10, 1926

*Schrader, Herman C.

Lieutenant

USN

July 10, 1926

*Weber, Frank C.

Private

USMC

July 10, 1926

 

 
S-51 Rescue and Salvage (1925-26
)

12 Navy Crosses

On on the night of September 25, 1925, the US submarine S-51 under command of Lieutenant Rodney Dobson, collided at sea with the steamer City of Rome while on the surface off Block Island, RI.  The steamer passed over the top of the submarine forcing it beneath the water where it quickly sank.  Only three of the sub's crew of thirty-six managed to escape and survive before it settled in 132 feet of water.

The following day the first Navy diver reached the submarine and all indications were that none of the 33 men within the hull had survived.  Despite this, an unsuccessful rescue effort was mounted.

On October 16 Navy Divers from the USS Falcon supported by numerous other ships began the task of trying to raise and salvage the S-51.  In frigid waters of the open sea, diving operations continued through December 6.  The salvage effort was resumed on April 26, 1926, and continued until the submarine was raised on June 5 and towed to the Brooklyn (NY) Navy Yard where it was placed on display.

The dangerous process of raising the S-4 was accomplished primarily by fifteen Navy divers, most of whom participated in both the winter and spring effort.  Twelve of them were awarded the Navy Cross for risking their lives to salvage the S-51.

Name Branch

Rank/Rating

Date(s) of Action

Badders, William
   MOH for Squalus Rescue

USN

Engineman First Class

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Carr, William J. (First Award)*

USN

Chief Boatswain's Mate

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Eadie, Thomas (First Award)*
 
MOH for a separate rescue in S-4 Salvage

USN

Chief Gunner's Mate

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Eiben, Joseph (First Award)**

USN

Chief Torpedoman's Mate

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Frazer, James W.

USN

Chief Torpedoman's Mate

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Hawes,  Richard E. (First Award)***

USN

Boatwain

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Kelley, John R. (First Award)*

USN

Chief Torpedoman

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Loughman, William F. (First Award)*

USN

Chief Gunner

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Schissel, Solomon

USN

Seaman Second Class

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Smith, Francis G.

USN

Chief Torpedoman

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Wickwire, William S. (First Award)*

USN

Chief Gunner's Mate

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

Wilson, Raymond C. (First Award)****

USN

Chief Torpedoman

Oct 16, 1925 - Jul 8, 1926

  * Second Award for S-4 Rescue and Salvage
  **Second Award for S-4 Rescue and Third Award for Submarine Escape Device Development
 ***Second Award in World War II
****Second Award for Submarine Escape Device

Of the thirteen men who received Navy Crosses for the S-51 Salvage, eight received second awards for their role in the subsequent salvage of the S-4.  One man received a 3rd Navy Cross for his role in development of the submarine escape device and one man who earned his first Navy Cross in the S-
51 received his second award for his role in the escape device development.  One Navy Cross Recipient earned a second award in WWII. 

 

 
Nanking Affair (March 21-25, 1927
)

4 Navy Crosses

American ships cruised the Yangtze River and coat of China from 1854 until World War II to demonstrate the American presence and support American consular officers in China.  Unrest in China made these cruises dangerous and often American ships were fired upon.  In 1927 a violent uprising of Chinese Nationalist Forces in and around Nanking forced the rescue of a number of British and American civilians by the American ships Noa, Preston and Isabel (supported by British and Japanese ships.)  Three Navy signalmen and one Chief Quartermaster received Navy Crosses in the four-day rescue mission and the immediate aftermath.

Name Branch Rank/Rating Date of Action
Horn, Charles William USN Chief Quartermaster

March 21 - 25, 1927

Taylor, Dennie D. USN Signalman First Class

March 21 - 25, 1927

Warren, Henry O. USN Signalman

March 21 - 25, 1927

Wilson, John D. USN Signalman First Class

March 21 - 25, 1927

Full Text Citations

 

 
S-4 Salvage and Rescue (1927
)

11 Navy Crosses

On the afternoon of December 17, 1927, the submarine S-4 collided with Coast Guard Cutter Paulding in Cape Cod bay.  In less than five minutes the submarine sank to the ocean floor at a depth of 110 feet. The following morning, despite a heavy gale, diver Thomas Eadie braved the dangers to descend to the ocean floor and tap on the hull of the sunken submarine.  Inside the hull, returning taps indicated that six men of the forty-man crew were still alive.

Diver William Carr, determined to try and rescue the trapped men, made the second dive in efforts to attach a hose to fill the ballast tanks and raise the sunken sub.  With weather deteriorating, Fred Michaels made the third dive, during which he became entangled in the wreckage.  With the tender Falcon tossed by high wind and waves, Thomas Eadie made his second dive of the day to rescue William Carr, earning the Medal of Honor.

Further rescue efforts were impossible because of the weather, and the Falcon returned to shore to deliver Michels to a hospital after his own harrowing dive.  Three days later the last message was tapped out in Morse Code by the six stranded submariners.  It said simply, "We Understand."  The submarine sank on Saturday, and not until the following Wednesday did the storm let up enough for the Falcon to return to dispatch a diver to attach a hose to supply fresh air.  It was too late, all six submariners had died.

Many dives remained in the salvage effort that finally brought the submarine to the surface on March 17, 1928, after which the S-4 was towed to the Charleston Navy Yard for recovery of the bodies and repair to the ship.  Eleven divers received Navy Crosses for their role in the attempted rescue and subsequent salvage of the S-4.  Seven of these men had participated in the similar salvage of the S-51 eighteen months earlier where they each earned their first award of the Navy Cross.

Name Rank/Rating Branch

Date of Action

Carr, William J. (Second Award)* Chief Boatswain's Mate USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Cregan, George Chief Boatswain USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Crilley, Frank W.
  Received MOH For 1915 Diving Rescue
Chief Gunner's Mate USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Eadie, Thomas (Second Award)*
 
Received MOH for separate action*
Chief Gunner's Mate USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Eiben, Joseph (Second Award)** Chief Torpedoman's Mate USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Hartley, Henry Lieutenant USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Kelley, John R. (Second Award)* Chief Torpedoman USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Loughman, William F. (Second Award)* Chief Gunner USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Michels, Fred George (First Award) Chief Torpedoman USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Michels, Fred George (Second Award)*** Chief Torpedoman USN Dec 18, 1927
Tibbals, Clarence L. Lieutenant USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928
Wickwire, William S. (Second Award)* Chief Gunner's Mate USN Dec 17, 1927 - Mar 17, 1928

*First Award for S-51 Salvage and Rescue
 **First Award for S-51 Rescue and Third Award for Submarine Escape Device Development
***Diver Thomas Eadie was the first of three divers to descend to the sunken S-4 on the day after the sinking.  The third and what was to be the final dive of the day because of deteriorating weather, was made by Fred Michels.  Michels became entangled in the cables and wreckage.  Thomas Eadie made an unscheduled 4th dive to rescue Michels, earning the Medal of Honor.  Fred Michels was awarded a second Navy Cross for this separate incident. 

The salvaged S-4 upon being repaired, was placed under the command of Ensign Norman Ives, and sent to Florida for testing in development of an experimental submarine rescue device.  The tragedy of the six trapped crewmen of the S-4 who survived the sinking, only to die days later, had prompted a major effort by the U.S. Navy to develop a means of rescuing sailors from the sea floor. 

 

 
Development of Submarine Escape Device (1928 - 1931)

8 Navy Crosses

 From 1928 to 1931 the rebuilt S-4 under the command of Lieutenant Norman Ives, served as a floating laboratory to develop and test various means of rescuing trapped submariners.  Two important devices were introduced, the Ives/McCann Bell and the Momsen Lung.  The first was a large bell that could be lowered from rescue tenders to the hatch of a sunken submarine to evacuate survivors.  The second was a bladder that, when mounted on the chest, could provide oxygen to sailors making a swimming ascent from sunken vessels.  Both were designed primarily by Charles Momsen, who received the Distinguished Service Medal, the citation for which noted:

"During the early stages of its (the Lung's) design and development (he)...courageously, repeatedly and voluntarily risked his life in conducting experiments of a nature such that there was little or no information available as to their probable results. In the later tests of the device, when escapes were made from USS S-4 submerged to depths as much as 206 feet, he was not only the first person to venture the escape but also the leading and guiding spirit in all subsequent ones."

Seven other divers of the Submarine Safety Test Unit, S-4 were awarded Navy Crosses for their own roles in testing and developing a means of rescuing trapped submariners.  (The result of this effort was demonstrated in the successful 1939 rescue of thirty-three survivors from the USS Squalus after it sank in 240 feet of water.)

Name Branch Rank/Rating Date of Action
Ives, Norman S.
  Commander of the S-4
USN Lieutenant 1928 - 1931
Cominski, S. J. USN Gunner's Mate Second Class 1928 - 1931
Eiben, Joseph (Third Award) USN Chief Torpedoman's Mate 1928 - 1931
Hoy, P. J. USN Chief Torpedoman 1928 - 1931
Kalinoski, Edward USN Chief Torpedoman 1928 - 1931
Linso, John USN Pharmacist's Mate First Class 1928 - 1931
Syphax, R. H. USN Chief Boatswain's Mate 1928 - 1931
Wilson, Raymond C. (Second Award) USN Chief Torpedoman 1928 - 1931

 

Navy Cross Awards between the World War

1919 - 1929 

2nd Nicaraguan 

1929 - 1941 

 

 

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