EDWARDS, WALTER ATLEE
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S.
Navy. Place and date: Sea of Marmora, Turkey, 16 December 1922. Born: 8
November 1886, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.:
123, 4 February 1924. (Medal presented by President Coolidge at the White House on 2
February 1924.) Other Navy award: Navy Cross.
For heroism in rescuing 482 men, women and children from
the French military transport Vinh-Long, destroyed by fire in the Sea of Marmora, Turkey,
on 16 December 1922. Lt. Comdr. Edwards, commanding the U.S.S. Bainbridge, placed his
vessel alongside the bow of the transport and, in spite of several violent explosions
which occurred on the burning vessel, maintained his ship in that position until all who
were alive were taken on board. Of a total of 495 on board, 482 were rescued by his
coolness, judgment and professional skill, which were combined with a degree of heroism
that must reflect new glory on the U.S. Navy.