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First Name: George

Last Name: Wanton

Birthplace: Paterson, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Henry

Date of Birth: 15 May 1868

Date of Death: 27 November 1940

Rank: Master Sergeant

Years Served: 1884-88 (Navy), 1889-1925 (Army)
George Henry Wanton

•  Spanish-American War (1898)


George Henry Wanton

Master Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

Spanish-American War

Master Sergeant George Henry Wanton (15 May 1868 - 27 November 1940) was a Buffalo Soldier in the U.S. Army who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Spanish-American War.

George Henry Wanton was born on 15 May 1866 in Paterson, NJ, the son of William H. and Margaret (Miller) Wanton. He joined the Army from his birth city of Paterson, and on 30 June 1898 was serving as a Private in Troop M of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. That day, American forces aboard the USSĀ Florida near Tayacoba, Cuba, dispatched a small landing party to provide reconnaissance on Spanish outposts in the area. The party was discovered by Spanish scouts and came under heavy fire; their boats were sunk by enemy cannon fire, leaving them stranded on shore.

The men aboard the Florida launched several rescue attempts; the first four were forced to retreat under heavy fire. The fifth attempt, manned by Wanton and three other Privates of the 10th Cavalry (Dennis Bell, Fitz Lee, and William H. Thompkins), launched at night and successfully found and rescued the surviving members of the landing party. One year later, on 23 June 1899, all four rescuers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in what had come to be known as the Battle of Tayacoba.

In November 1921, he was selected as an Honorary Pallbearer at the burial of the Unknown Soldier.

George Henry Wanton reached the rank of Master Sergeant and served in the Quartermaster Corps before leaving the Army.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Troop M, 10th U.S. Cavalry

Place and date: Tayabacoa, Cuba, 30 June 1898

Citation: Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated.

Death and Burial

Master Sergeant George Henry Wanton died on 27 November 1940 at age 72. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, VA, in Section 4, Lot 2749.

Honoree ID: 1955   Created by: MHOH




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