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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Wainwright

Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 15 September 1881

Date of Death: 28 March 1944

Rank or Rate: Commander

Years Served: 1903-1921
Richard Wainwright, Jr.

•  Occupation of Veracruz (1914)


Richard Wainwright, Jr.

Commander, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

Occupation of Veracruz

Commander Richard Wainwright Jr. (15 September 1881 - 28 March 1944) 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 the Occupation of Veracruz.

Richard Wainwright Jr. was born on 15 September 1881 in Washington, DC, the son of Evelyn Wotherspoon and Richard Wainwright. He was the grandson of the son of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Wainwright. He was the great-grandson of Richard Bache, Jr., who served in the Republic of Texas Navy and was elected as a Representative to the Second Texas Legislature in 1847 and Sophia Burrell Dallas, the daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander J. Dallas an American statesman who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison. He was also great-great-grandson of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and more notably he was the great-great-great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin as well as a nephew of George Mifflin Dallas, the 11th Vice President of the United States, serving under James K. Polk. His uncle was Admiral Seaton Schroeder.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1903, and served on board battleship USS Louisiana (BB-19) during that ship's participation in the voyage of the Great White Fleet around the world from 1907 to 1909. Wainwright received the Medal of Honor for his outstanding conduct in battle while commanding a landing force from battleship USS Florida (BB-30) at Vera Cruz, Mexico, on 21 and 22 April 1914.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy

Citation: For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Lt. Wainwright was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion; was in the fighting of both days, and exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through action. In seizing the customhouse, he encountered for many hours the heaviest and most pernicious concealed fire of the entire day, but his courage and coolness under trying conditions were marked.

He retired from the Navy as a Commander on physical disability on 3 March 1921.


Three ships have been named USS Wainwright for his father Richard, his grandfather, and two cousins.

Death and Burial

Commander Richard Wainwright Jr. died in Annapolis, MD, on 28 March 1944. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2028   Created by: MHOH




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