*DREXLER, HENRY CLAY
Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Navy. Born:
7 August 1901, Braddock, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. (Awarded by Special
Act of Congress, 3 February 1933.) Other Navy award: Navy Cross.
For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession
on the occasion of a fire on board the U.S.S. Trenton. At 3:35 on the afternoon of 20
October 1924, while the Trenton was preparing to fire trial installation shots from the
two 6-inch guns in the forward twin mount of that vessel, 2 charges of powder ignited.
Twenty men were trapped in the twin mount. Four died almost immediately and 10 later from
burns and inhalation of flame and gases. The 6 others were severely injured. Ens. Drexler,
without thought of his own safety, on seeing that the charge of powder for the left gun
was ignited, jumped for the right charge and endeavored to put it in the immersion tank.
The left charge burst into flame and ignited the right charge before Ens. Drexler could
accomplish his purpose. He met his death while making a supreme effort to save his