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First Name: John

Last Name: MacKenzie

Birthplace: Bridgeport, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Boatswain's Mate Chief Petty Officer

Home of Record: MA

Date of Birth: 07 July 1886

Date of Death: 26 December 1933

Rank or Rate: Chief Petty Officer

Years Served: 1902 - 1907, 1917 - 1918
John MacKenzie

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


John MacKenzie

Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie (7 July 1886 - 26 December 1933) was a U.S. Naval Reserve sailor who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I.

John MacKenzie was born on 7 July 1886 at Bridgeport, CT. He enlisted in the Navy at Springfield, MA, on 20 December 1902 and had attained the rate of Coxswain before his discharge on 6 July 1907. He engaged in the auto accessory business in Springfield, but re-enlisted in the Navy in 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I.

While serving on board USS Remlik (SP-157) during a storm in the Bay of Biscay, MacKenzie observed a depth charge adrift on the ship's after deck. At great risk to his life, he took prompt and effective action to secure the explosive weapon, thus preventing the "probable loss of the ship and the entire crew." For his heroism on that occasion, Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving on board the U.S.S. Remlik, on the morning of 17 December 1917, when the Remlik encountered a heavy gale. During this gale, there was a heavy sea running. The depth charge box on the taffrail aft, containing a Sperry depth charge, was washed overboard, the depth charge itself falling inboard and remaining on deck. MacKenzie, on his own initiative, went aft and sat down on the depth charge, as it was impracticable to carry it to safety until the ship was headed up into the sea. In acting as he did, MacKenzie exposed his life and prevented a serious accident to the ship and probable loss of the ship and the entire crew.

After the end of the First World War, John MacKenzie returned to civilian life and subsequently entered the restaurant business.


A large baseball complex in Holyoke is named MacKenzie Stadium and a plaque under the American flag in left field honors MacKenzie and his deeds aboard the Remlik.

Death and Burial

Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie died at Holyoke, MA, on 26 December 1933, at the age of 47 years. He is buried at Forestdale Cemetery in Holyoke, Hampden County, MA.

Honoree ID: 1790   Created by: MHOH




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