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First Name: William

Last Name: Zuiderveld

Birthplace: Tallmadge Township, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: MI

Date of Birth: 08 January 1888

Date of Death: 05 February 1978

Rank or Rate: Lieutenant

Years Served:
William Zuiderveld

•  Occupation of Veracruz (1914)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William Zuiderveld

Lieutenant, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

Occupation of Veracruz

Lieutenant William Zuiderveld (8 January 1888 - 5 February 1978) 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.

William Zuiderveld was born on 8 January 1888 in Tallmadge Township, MI.

Occupation of Veracruz

In 1914, Zuiderveld took part in the United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914, serving as a corpsman with a company of armed Navy sailors (known as "Bluejackets") who were tasked with capturing the city's Custom's House.

The company, led by Ensign George M. Lowry, became pinned down by "murderous rifle and machine gun fire" as they approached the Custom's house. Not wanting to risk his entire company, Lowry asked for volunteers to approach the Custom's House from the side. Five men volunteered: Joseph G. Harner, Coxswain J. F. Schumaker, Boatswain's Mate Second Class George Cregan, and Seamen Harry C. Beasley and Lawrence C. Sinnett.

Lowry led the volunteers into a narrow alley, where they came under crossfire from riflemen in the Custom's building and machine gunners in a nearby hotel. During this fighting, "A bullet clipped one of the buttons off Lowry's cap and another tore through his right legging, creasing the flesh. Beasley was slightly wounded, and Schumaker was shot through the head."

After his men were able to silence the machine gunners with return rifle fire, Lowry called for a corpsman to help Schumaker. Zuiderveld ran down the alley while under fire and tried to stop the flow of blood from Schumaker's head.

Once Zuiderveld carried Schumaker - who would soon die - to the rear, Lowry and his surviving men worked their way up the alley and scaled the wall around the Custom's House. Several days later, Lowry returned to the scene and counted twelve bullet impacts on the wall where his men had climbed it. After Lowry and his men smashed through a window of the Custom's House, the personnel inside surrendered.

Zuiderveld, along with almost all of the men who volunteered for the attack, received the Medal of Honor for their actions.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Navy

Place and date: Veracruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914

Citation: On board the U.S.S. Florida, Zuiderveld showed extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant William Zuiderveld died on 5 February 1978. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. His grave can be found in Section A-I, Grave 9B, GPS (lat/lon): 32.41359, -117.14716.

Honoree ID: 2031   Created by: MHOH




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