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Navy Medals Rescinded
While the purging of 911 names from the Roll of Army Medal of Honor recipients is well heralded, lesser known is the fact that at least 17 sailors have also been stricken from the Roll of Honor. In some cases there is historical record detailing a revocation of the award for mis-conduct or desertion. In others, there is simply an indication that the individual was once listed as a Medal of Honor recipient on the rolls, but that name no longer is a part of the official list.
Lieutenant Commander E. G. Blakeslee is listed as a recipent on page 18 of "The Navy Book of Distinguished Service" published by Fassett Publishing Company in Washington, DC (1921). Blakeslee was cited "For distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving on the staff of the commander of the United States Naval forces operating in European waters" during World War I. Beyond that reference, his name no longer appears in the Navy Roll of Honor.
During the Civil War, Boatswains Mate Thomas Gehegan received the Medal of Honor for his "Personal Valor" as captain of a 6" gun aboard the USS Pinola (G.O. 11, 3 April 1863). Subsequently charged with misconduct, his Medal of Honor for action in the Battle of New Orleans on 24-25 April, 1862 was forfeited, and remains in the custody of the Navy Department. The image at left is his actual medal, duly engraved "Personal Valor - THOMAS GEHEGAN - Boatswains Mate, U.S.S. Pinola, New Orleans April 24th & 25th - 1862".
Of sixteen Navy Awards (not counting Blakeslee's), seven were revoked for desertion, two for misconduct. Eleven of these awards were earned in the Civil War, 4 for non-combat action, and one in the Philippine Insurrection.
Civil War (11)
Date of Action
Date Of Award
Cause for Purge
24-25 Apr 1862
G.O. 11, 3 Apr 1863 Misconduct Thomas Gehegan
24-25 Apr 1862
G.O. 11, 3 Apr 1863 ? John Jackson Ordinary Seaman
USS C.P. Williams
16 Aug 1863 G.O. 32, 16 Apr 1864 Erroneous Award Josepf Brown
5 Aug 1864
G.O. 45, 31 Dec 1864 Deserted John Martin Boatswains Mate
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted 3 Aug 1865 John Noble Landsman
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 71, 15 Jan 1866 ? Charles Robinson Chief BWM
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted Frank Lucas Coxswain
23 Dec 1864 G.O. 45, 31 Dec 1864 Deserted 3 Apr 1865 Clement Dees
Dec 1864 - Feb 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted 18 Feb 1866 John Jackson Ship's Cpl
Dec 1864 - Feb 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted Charles Reed
5-6 Mar 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 ?
Peace Time Awards (4)
15 May 1876 ? Deserted Thomas Noon
1873 ? ? John Powers
G.O. 55, 19 Jul 1901 G.O. 218, 24 Aug 1876 ? William B. Stacey
USS Rhode Island
? G.O. 71, 15 Jan 1866 ?
Philippine Insurection (1)
William H. Jaeger
16 July 1900
G.O. 55, 19 Jul 1901 ?
World War I (1)
E. G. Blakeslee Lieut. Commander - Staff of CO, USN, Europe Removed from List
SOURCES: The sixteen names (excluding Lieutenant Commander Blakeslee) are from the "United States Navy Medals of Honor, Unclaimed or Withheld" Compiled and Edited by Jane Kenworthy, Medal of Honor History Roundtable (1976) and was provided to us by Chuck Sughrue.
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