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 William Halford

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William Halford

  • Birth 18 Aug 1841 Gloucester, City of Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
  • Death 17 Feb 1919 Vallejo, Solano County, California, USA
  • Burial Vallejo, Solano County, California, USA
  • Plot Section C, Row 7, Plot 371
  • Memorial ID 9581783

US Navy Peacetime Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served with the United States Navy aboard the "USS Saginaw," a pre-Civil War side-wheel steamer. In 1870 the Saginaw was assigned to do a survey and deepen the entrance to the lagoon at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. While heading back to San Francisco Bay, the Saginaw detoured long enough to see if anyone may have been shipwrecked at Ocean Island. When they reached Ocean Island, the Saginaw hit a reef off the coast and sank. With no hope for rescue, the commanding officer of the Saginaw sent five men, including William Halford, in a small boat to the Hawaiian Islands for assistance. After 25 days at sea, the small boat reached Kauai and in attempting to debark to the island, the boat got caught on the reef and capsized. Four of the crew were lost, save Halford, who was injured in the accident with a crushed knee. He made his way to shore and was able to engage a small schooner to take him to Honolulu, where he reported the wreck of the Saginaw. Halford had accomplished what he was commanded to do, and in doing so, he endured hardships and near death to save the crew of the Saginaw. His citation, issued February 8, 1872 reads: "Halford was sole survivor of the boat's crew sent to the Sandwich Islands for assistance after the wreck of the Saginaw, October 1870. Promoted to acting gunner."

Bio by: Maureen McDermott-Marella


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Maureen McDermott-Marella
  • Added: 11 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9581783
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Halford (18 Aug 1841–17 Feb 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9581783, citing Mare Island Cemetery, Vallejo, Solano County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .