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 Robert Webster Cary

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Robert Webster Cary

US Navy Peacetime Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1914. A few months later he would enter the pages of United States Naval history. His citation reads: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of an explosion on board the U.S.S. San Diego, 21 January 1915. Lt. Comdr. Cary (then Ensign), U.S. Navy, an observer on duty in the firerooms of the U.S.S. San Diego, commenced to take the half-hourly readings of the steam pressure at every boiler. He had read the steam and air pressure on No. 2 boiler and was just stepping through the electric watertight door into No. 1 fireroom when the boilers in No. 2 fireroom exploded. Ens. Cary stopped and held open the doors which were being closed electrically from the bridge, and yelled to the men in No. 2 fireroom to escape through these doors, which 3 of them did. Ens. Cary's action undoubtedly saved the lives of these men. He held the doors probably a minute with the escaping steam from the ruptured boilers around him. His example of coolness did much to keep the men in No. 1 fireroom at their posts hauling fires, although 5 boilers in their immediate vicinity had exploded and boilers Nos. 1 and 3 apparently had no water in them and were likely to explode any instant. When these fires were hauled under Nos. 1 and 3 boilers, Ens. Cary directed the men in this fireroom into the bunker, for they well knew the danger of these 2 boilers exploding. During the entire time Ens. Cary was cool and collected and showed an abundance of nerve under the most trying circumstances. His action on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 7 Feb 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6162710
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Webster Cary (18 Aug 1890–15 Jul 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6162710, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .