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Philip Bogan Keefer



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

BORN:  September 04, 1875 at Washington, DC

Entered Service in the US Navy from Washington, DC

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Spanish-American War For heroism on July 20, 1898 at Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

DIED:  January 15, 1949 at the age of 73

At 7 A.M. on July 20, 1898 the USS Iowa was patrolling near Cuba in support of American forces engaged in the Spanish- American War, when it was rocked by the explosion of a manhole gasket in one of the boilers of fire-room Number 2. The explosion filled the compartment with live steam, and water boiling at 220 degrees covered the floor, seriously injuring one man. In his nearby compartment, Coppersmith Philip Keefer and while fellow sailor Robert Penn was pulling the injured man to safety, Keefer ignored the danger to carry out the fires from the inboard furnace of Boiler B. That accomplished, he ignored the continuing danger to return to assisted Keefer in attempts to contain the effects of the explosion to prevent further damage to his ship. With several inches of boiling water covering the floor, Penn fashioned a rickety bridge by throwing a plank across some ash buckets held in place by Coppersmith Philip Keefer and another man. He then traversed this unstable bridge over the boiling waters to carry the remaining two fires from the boiler room. (Others Involved in this action: Robert Penn)



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