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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 22 June

There are 22 Medals awarded for actions on this date. The 22nd of June was dominated by multiple awards from the early days of the Medal - when it was the only game in town.  Most of the Medals in today's list would have been Bronze or Silver Stars in this century or the last.  On a plus note, there are no posthumous awards - though the tradition of the times was that dead people didn't get awards.  They might get statues, but they didn't get medals.

This first one would be a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the naval services highest award for heroism not involving combat.  From the "Interim Awards, 1871-1898" period.
 
HILL, WILLIAM L
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Rank and organization: Captain of the Top, U.S. Navy. Born: 1856, Brooklyn, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: Serving on board the U.S. Training Ship Minnesota at Newport, R.I., 22 June 1881, Hill jumped overboard and sustained William Mulcahy, third class boy, who had fallen overboard, until picked up by a steam launch.

These next ones are the ones that more likely than not would be Bronze Stars with "V" device or Silver Stars today.  From the China Relief Expedition.

These are two unusual citations from the period in that they are relatively extensive in describing what the actions were in the justification for the Medal.  The second cite, for Ordinary Seaman Seach, details a specific battle, while covering the same named days as Seaman Rose's.  The more generic citations that follow roll up under these two.
ROSE, GEORGE
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 28 February 1880, Stamford, Conn. Accredited to: Connecticut. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battles at Peking, China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period, Rose distinguished himself by meritorious conduct. While stationed as a crewmember of the U.S.S. Newark, he was part of its landing force that went ashore off Taku, China. on 31 May 1900, he was in a party of 6 under John McCloy (MH) which took ammunition from the Newark to Tientsin. On 10 June 1900, he was one of a party that carried dispatches from LaFa to Yongstsum at night. On the 13th he was one of a few who fought off a large force of the enemy saving the Main baggage train from destruction. On the 20th and 21st he was engaged in heavy fighting against the Imperial Army being always in the first rank. On the 22d he showed gallantry in the capture of the Siku Arsenal. He volunteered to go to the nearby village which was occupied by the enemy to secure medical supplies urgently required. The party brought back the supplies carried by newly taken prisoners.

SEACH, WILLIAM
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Place and date: China 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Entered service at: Massachusetts. Born: 23 May 1877, London, England. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. June 13: Seach and 6 others were cited for their courage in repulsing an attack by 300 Chinese Imperialist soldiers and Boxer militants with a bayonet charge, thus thwarting a planned massive attack on the entire force. June 20: During a day-long battle, Seach ran across an open clearing, gained cover, and cleaned out nests of Chinese snipers. June 21: During a surprise sabre attack by Chinese cavalrymen, Seach was cited for defending gun emplacements. June 22: Seach and others breached the wall of a Chinese fort, fought their way to the enemy's guns, and turned the cannon upon the defenders of the fort. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Seach distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

ALLEN, EDWARD
Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 4 December 1859, Amsterdam, Holland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: Fighting with the relief expedition of the Allied forces on 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900, Allen distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

CHATHAM, JOHN PURNELL
Rank and organization: Gunner's Mate Second Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 2 July 1872, Warchester, Md. Accredited to: Maryland. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Chatham distinguished himself by his conduct.

CLANCY, JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 29 September 1863, New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Clancy distinguished himself by his conduct.

HAMBERGER, WILLIAM F.
Rank and organization: Chief Carpenter's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 5 August 1870, Newark, N.J. Accredited to: New Jersey. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: Fighting with the relief expedition of the Allied forces on 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900, Hamberger distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

HANFORD, BURKE
Rank and organization: Machinist First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 17 December 1872, Toledo, Ohio. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: Served with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China on 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. In the presence of the enemy during this period, Hanford distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

HANSEN, HANS A.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 16 April 1872 Germany. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 55, 19 June 1901. Citation: Served with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China on 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. In the presence of the enemy during this period, Hansen distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

HOLYOKE, WILLIAM E.
Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 13 March 1868, Groveton, N.H. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Holyoke distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

KILLACKEY, JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 21 January 1897, Cork County, Ireland. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Killackey distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

McCLOY, JOHN (First Award) [Apparently, we'll see Cox'n McCoy again]
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 3 January 1876, Brewsters, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Other Navy award: Second Medal of Honor. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Coxswain McCloy distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

ORNDOFF, HARRY WESTLEY
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 9 November 1872, Sandusky, Ohio. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Orndoff distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

PHILLIPS, REUBEN JASPER
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 28 July 1874, Cambria, Calif. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citarion: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Phillips distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

RYAN, FRANCIS T.
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 6 April 1868, Massachusetts. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Ryan distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

SMITH, FRANK ELMER
Rank and organization: Oiler, U.S. Navy. Born: 22 August 1864, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Smith distinguished himself by meritorlous conduct.

SMITH, JAMES
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 2 September 1880, New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Smith distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

STANLEY, ROBERT HENRY
Rank and organization: Hospital Apprentice, U.S. Navy. Place and date: China, 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Entered service: Aboard U.S.S. Vermont. Born: 2 May 1881, Brooklyn N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in volunteering and carrying messages under fire at Peking, China, 12 July 1900.

STEWART, PETER
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 17 February 1858, Airdrie, Scotland. Accredited to: Washington, D.C. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Stewart distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

THOMAS, KARL
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 17 March 1871, Germany. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Thomas distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

TORGERSON, MARTIN T.
Rank and organization. Gunner's Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 November 1875, Oleesen, Norway. Accredited to. Virginia. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China, 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Torgerson distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

WILLIAMS, JAY
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 23 September 1872, Orland, Ind. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Williams distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
 
A retired Colonel of Infantry who is a friend of mine provided this commentary on the Medal during  the Boxer Rebellion - especially the differences and quirks of the respective services:

It's interesting to read American accounts of the Boxer Rebellion. The Navy and War Department were completely separate and showed signs of not liking one another much. The Navy accounts of actions in China do not come close to matching the Army accounts, mostly by convenient ommission of the other's contributions. So it's hard to reconcile and you learn to take it all with a very large grain of salt. One point that comes across quite strikingly is that the Medal of Honor in the Navy and the Medal of Honor in the Army were two very different decorations with very different standards.

These figures should only be regards as approximate, but close enough to illustrate the point.

Troops engaged

Navy - several hundred
Marine - 295
Army - 3,130

Casualties

Navy - 4 KIA, 26 WIA
Marine - 9 KIA, 17 WIA
Army - 30 KIA, 143 WIA

Medals of Honor

Navy - 19
Marine - 30
Army - 4

Also of note is that the Medal of Honor could not be awarded to Marine officers at that time. They could receive the Marine Corps Brevet Medal which was considered the equivilent officer award. Several were awarded for actions in China.

3 Comments

On the Marine Corps  Brevet Medal.

Six Officers were awarded the Marine Corps Brevet Medal for actions in the Boxer Rebellion. The medal itself wasn't created until 1921 and recognized Marine officers who had received Brevet promotions which was the only recognition for gallantry in action available to Marine officers. Then Captain Smedley was one of the six.

Brevet promotions were discontinued and the medal was declared obsolete in 1940.
 
Methinks the Colonel *meant* to say, "Then Captain Smedley [Butler[..."

 
All of his friends referred to him as Captain Smedley