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First Name: James

Last Name: Madison

Birthplace: Jersey City, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: MS
Middle Name: Jonas

Date of Birth: 20 May 1884

Date of Death: 25 December 1922

Rank or Rate: Commander

Years Served: 1917 - 1920
James Jonas Madison

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


James Jonas Madison

Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Commander James Jonas Madison (20 May 1884 - 25 December 1922) was a U.S. Navy officer who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I.

James Jonas Madison was born on 20 May 1884 in Jersey City, NJ. He was appointed a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve on 8 May 1917. He was the Commanding Officer of the cargo steamship USS Ticonderoga when, on 30 September 1918, she was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U152. Commander Madison, in spite of severe wounds which later necessitated the amputation of a leg, continued to direct and maneuver the ship until forced to order her abandoned. For his heroic actions he received the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve Force.

Citation: For exceptionally heroic service in a position of great responsibility as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, when, on 4 October 1918, that vessel was attacked by an enemy submarine and was sunk after a prolonged and gallant resistance. The submarine opened fire at a range of 500 yards, the first shots taking effect on the bridge and forecastle, 1 of the 2 forward guns of the Ticonderoga being disabled by the second shot. The fire was returned and the fight continued for nearly 2 hours. Lt. Comdr. Madison was severely wounded early in the fight, but caused himself to be placed in a chair on the bridge and continued to direct the fire and to maneuver the ship. When the order was finally given to abandon the sinking ship, he became unconscious from loss of blood, but was lowered into a lifeboat and was saved, with 31 others, out of a total number of 236 on board.


The USS Madison (DD-425) was named for him.

Death and Burial

Commander James Jonas Madison died in Brooklyn, NY, on 25 December 1922. He is buried at Fairview Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Fairview, Bergen County, NJ, in Section G, Block 9, Plot 22.

Honoree ID: 1791   Created by: MHOH




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