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 John Edward Murphy

John Edward Murphy

Birth
Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Death 9 Apr 1941 (aged 71)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Plot Officer's Section Grave 363
Memorial ID 9723 · View Source
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Spanish-American War Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Ireland, he immigrated to the US and enlisted in the US Navy from New York, serving as a coxswain on the battleship USS Iowa during the Spanish-American War. He was one of eight volunteer crew members of the collier USS Merrimac (1898), which Rear Admiral William T. Sampson ordered sunk to block the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba. On the night of June 2, 1898, during the attempt to execute this mission, the Merrimac's steering gear was disabled by enemy gunfire, and she sank without obstructing navigation. Her crewmen were rescued by the Spanish and they became prisoners-of-war. Following the Battle of Santiago de Cuba that destroyed the Spanish fleet a month later, he and his shipmates were released. For their part in this operation, all eight men were awarded Medals of Honor. During his captivity he was promoted to the warrant officer rank of boatswain. In October 1898 he was assigned to the battleship USS Oregon and was sent to the Pacific. In September 1901 he reported for training duty on board the screw steamer USS Pensacola and several months later began similar service on the sloop-of-war USS Constellation. In the summer of 1903 he served aboard the armored cruiser USS New York in the Pacific Squadron. In June 1904 he was promoted to the rank of chief boatswain and for his last tour, he served on the auxiliary cruiser USS Buffalo, also in the Pacific, and was placed on the retired list on August 1, 1905. He died at the age of 71. His official Medal of Honor citation reads: "In connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. Merrimac at the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, 2 June 1898. Despite heavy fire from the Spanish shore batteries, Murphy displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation."

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9723
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Edward Murphy (3 May 1869–9 Apr 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9723, citing Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .