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Charles Henry Willey
Charles H Willey.jpg
Born (1889-03-31)March 31, 1889
Died September 11, 1977(1977-09-11) (aged 88)
Place of birth East Boston, Massachusetts
Place of death Concord, New Hampshire
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Machinist
Unit USS Memphis
Battles/wars peacetime award
Awards Medal of Honor

Charles Henry Willey (March 31, 1889 – September 11, 1977)[1] was a United States Navy Machinist received the Medal of Honor for actions during the tsunami that wrecked USS Memphis. Machinist Willey was awarded the medal for this action along with Lieutenant Claud Ashton Jones and Chief Machinist's Mate George William Rud.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and organization: Machinist, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Off Santo Domingo City, Santo Domingo, August 29, 1916. Entered service at: Massachusetts. Born: March 31, 1889, East Boston, Mass. G.O. No.: --August 1, 1932. Citation:

For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession while serving on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when that vessel was suffering total destruction from a tsunami while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916. Machinist Willey took his station in the engineer's department and remained at his post of duty amidst scalding steam and the rush of thousands of tons of water into his department as long as the engines would turn, leaving only when ordered to leave. When the boilers exploded, he assisted in getting the men out of the fire room and carrying them into the engine room, where there was air instead of steam to breathe. Machinist Willey's conduct on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.

See alsoEdit


  1. "Charles H. Willey". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 

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