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First Name: John

Last Name: Williams

Birthplace: Blair County, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 1832

Rank or Rate: Seaman

Years Served:
John Williams

•  American Civil War (1861 - 1865)


John Williams
Seaman, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
American Civil War

John Williams was born in 1832 in Blair County, PA, and was still living in that county when he joined the U.S. Navy. He was a sailor in the Union Navy during the American Civil War and was a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Joint Expedition Against Franklin. His was the first action for which the Navy Medal of Honor was awarded.

On 3 October 1862, he was serving as a Seaman on the USS Commodore Perry. On that day, as the ship steamed down the Blackwater River during the Joint Expedition Against Franklin, VA, Williams remained at his post despite heavy fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor six months later, on 3 April 1863.

Medal of Honor Citation:

"On board the U.S.S. Commodore Perry in the attack upon Franklin, VA, 3 October 1862. With enemy fire raking the deck of his ship and blockades thwarting her progress, Williams remained at his post and performed his duties with skill and courage as the Commodore Perry fought a gallant battle to silence many rebel batteries as she steamed down the Blackwater River."

Death and Burial

John Williams date of death, and his place of burial, are both unknown.

Honoree ID: 16   Created by: MHOH




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