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John Davis


U.S. Navy
Medal Of Honor, Spanish-American War

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John Davis was one of 52 sailors and Marines cited for bravery and coolness in the face of enemy fire during the cutting of cables at Cienfuegos, Cuba on 11 May 1898. The mission was a daring operation to cut undersea cables linking the Spanish fortifications at Cienfuegos with the rest of the world. Destruction of the cables was ordered to disrupt communications. In two boats, sailors from the USS Nashville and the USS Marblehead were joined by a Marine guard as they moved within 15 feet of the enemy shore, under fire from the hidden enemy, to dredge up and cut two such cables. During the 80 minute operation, the cable cutting party was under constant enemy fire from a short range, while they coolly dredged the cables across the bow of their boats, then cut through them with hacksaws. When a cable was severed, the seaward end was transported back to the USS Marblehead, which then moved further from shore to drop the ends in deeper water and make repair impossible. So intense was the enemy presence, and so daring the American support, Captain Maynard of the Nashville was wounded in the action. With great courage, the mission was accomplished.

Read our Story about t he Cienfuegos Mission

Photo Contributed by Monte Eiserman
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