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Navy Medals Rescinded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

Charles Florence

Boatswains Mate
USS Cayuga

24-25 Apr 1862

G.O. 11, 3 Apr 1863 Misconduct
Thomas Gehegan

Boatswains Mate
USS Pinola

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

Quartermaster
USS Brooklyn

5 Aug 1864

G.O. 45, 31 Dec 1864 Deserted
John Martin Boatswains Mate
USS Galena
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted 3 Aug 1865
John Noble Landsman
USS Metacomet
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 71, 15 Jan 1866 ?
Charles Robinson Chief BWM
USS Galena
5 Aug 1864 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted
Frank Lucas Coxswain
USS Agawam
23 Dec 1864 G.O. 45, 31 Dec 1864 Deserted 3 Apr 1865
Clement Dees

Seaman
USS Pontoosuc

Dec 1864 - Feb 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted 18 Feb 1866
John Jackson Ship's Cpl
USS Poonoosuc
Dec 1864 - Feb 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 Deserted
Charles Reed

Ordinary Seaman
USS Magnolia

5-6 Mar 1865 G.O. 59, 22 Jun 1865 ?

Peace Time Awards (4)

     
William Higgins

USS Plymouth

15 May 1876 ? Deserted
Thomas Noon

Seaman
USN-New Orleans

1873 ? ?
John Powers

Ordinary Seaman
USS Plymouth

G.O. 55, 19 Jul 1901 G.O. 218, 24 Aug 1876 ?
William B. Stacey

Seaman
USS Rhode Island

? G.O. 71, 15 Jan 1866 ?

Philippine Insurection  (1) 

     
William H. Jaeger

Apprentice 1/C
USS Pampanga

16 July 1900
Samar, P.I.
G.O. 55, 19 Jul 1901 ?

World War I  (1) 

     
E. G. Blakeslee Lieut. Commander - Staff of CO, USN, Europe Removed from List

 

 

The Purge of 1917

Rescinded Navy Awards

Restorations

Additions to the Honor Roll

Corrections to the Honor Roll

Contradictions

[Alphabetical List of ALL Purged Names]
[27th Maine (Alpha)]   [27th Maine (By Company)]   [Lincoln Funeral Guard]

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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