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First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Foss

Birthplace: Belfast, ME, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: ME
Middle Name: Lewis

Date of Birth: 12 October 1871

Date of Death: 01 September 1937

Rank or Rate: Seaman

Years Served:
Herbert Lewis Foss

•  Spanish-American War (1898)


Herbert Lewis Foss

Seaman, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

Spanish-American War

Seaman Herbert Lewis Foss (12 October 1871 - 1 September 1937) was a U.S. Navy sailor who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Spanish-American War.

Foss was born in Belfast, ME, on 12 October 1871.

Spanish-American War

Foss joined the U.S. Navy on 31 January 1897. He served as a seaman on the light cruiser USSĀ Marblehead. On 11 May 1898 during combat off the northwest coast of Cuba, the crew of the USS Marblehead pulled the main communications cable over the bow of their boat. Despite being under heavy fire, they severed the cable. Foss finished the job with a hacksaw. The crew suffered many casualties but they accomplished their mission of disrupting communications between Cuba and Spain.

Medal of Honor

Rank and Organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy

Citation: On board the U.S.S. Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Foss set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

Post-War Life

After the war Foss moved to Hingham, MA, and found work at an ammunition depot. He later became the superintendent of the Fort Hill Cemetery.

He joined the Old Colony Masonic lodge in August 1918 and remained a member in good standing until his death.

Death and Burial

Seaman Herbert Lewis Foss died of a heart attack on 1 September 1937, while working at the Fort Hill Cemetery.

The town of Hingham buried Herbert Foss in the largest military funeral the town has ever seen. Herbert Foss' casket was carried through the streets of Hingham on board a 110th Cavalry Caisson drawn by six horses. He was then buried at the Fort Hill Cemetery in Hingham, where he had worked . . . and died.

Honoree ID: 1883   Created by: MHOH




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