Henry Clay Drexler

Henry Clay Drexler

Braddock, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 20 Oct 1924 (aged 23)
Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 4, Site 3051
Memorial ID 6172403 · View Source
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US Navy Peacetime Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Navy as an Ensign on board the light cruiser “USS Trenton” (CL-11). He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during an accident while the ship was conducting gunnery drills near Norfolk, Virginia on October 20, 1924. His citation reads “For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of a fire on board the U.S.S. Trenton. At 3:35 on the afternoon of 20 October 1924, while the Trenton was preparing to fire trial installation shots from the two 6-inch guns in the forward twin mount of that vessel, 2 charges of powder ignited. Twenty men were trapped in the twin mount. Four died almost immediately and 10 later from burns and inhalation of flame and gases. The 6 others were severely injured. Ens. Drexler, without thought of his own safety, on seeing that the charge of powder for the left gun was ignited, jumped for the right charge and endeavored to put it in the immersion tank. The left charge burst into flame and ignited the right charge before Ens. Drexler could accomplish his purpose. He met his death while making a supreme effort to save his shipmates". His Medal (and a Navy Cross) was posthumously awarded to him by a Special Act of Congress on February 3, 1933. Boatswan's Mate First Class George Robert Cholister also lost his life in the fire on board the “Trenton”, and was also awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his heroism in the incident. The “USS Trenton” went on to fight in World War II, earning one Battle Star before being scrapped in 1946.

Bio by: Russ Dodge

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Ensign United States Navy
Born in Pennsylvania
Graduated U S Naval Academy June 1924
Died Aboard U S S Trenton
He Fell on the Spot Where He Was Making
a Supreme Effort to Save His Shipmates
"Greater love hath no man than this, that
a man lay down his life for his friends"




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 11 Feb 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6172403
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Clay Drexler (7 Aug 1901–20 Oct 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6172403, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .