Military Wiki
Michael Walsh
Born (1858-07-27)July 27, 1858
Died June 29, 1913(1913-06-29) (aged 54)
Place of birth Newport, Rhode Island
Place of burial Saint Columba Catholic Cemetery Middletown, Rhode Island
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Chief Machinist
Unit USS Leyden (1865)
Awards Medal of Honor

Michael Walsh (July 27, 1858 – June 29, 1913) was a chief machinist serving in the United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor for bravery.


Walsh was born July 27, 1858 in Swansea, Wales. He arrived in New York aboard the Jeremiah Thompson on May 28, 1864. After joining the navy he was stationed aboard the USS Leyden (1865) as a chief machinist. On January 21, 1903 the ‘’Leyton’’ wrecked. For his actions during the incident received the Medal of Honor December 26, 1903.[1][2]

He died June 29, 1913 and is buried in Saint Columba Catholic Cemetery Middletown, Rhode Island.[3]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Chief Machinist, U.S. Navy. Born: 27 July 1858, Newport, R.I. Accredited to: Rhode Island. G.O. No.: 145, 26 December 1903.

Chief Walsh won his Medal of Honor (MOH) during the Spanish-American War on a little vessel that became celebrated for the valuable service performed and the many fights and incidents in which it was present - "The Tug Leyden," a boat of only 500 tons.

The tug was stationed at Key West, Fl, and on April 22, 1898, delivered to Admiral Sampson on board the U.S.S. New York, the information that war was declared, and that he should proceed with the fleet to Cuba. The following morning, the fleet sailed with the U.S.S. Leyden following the U.S.S. New York. After reaching Cuba, the U.S.S. Leyden was sent back to Key West and was outfitted with guns. Upon return to Cuba, the U.S.S. Leyden was used as one of the blockading squadrons on the Cuban coast. U.S.S. Leyden participated in many fights and captured several prizes. At the close of the war, U.S.S. Leyden was sent back to Newport, RI for repairs. Chief Walsh reveived his MOH for a heroic deed by which the lives of the crew were saved. The little vessel that had passed through so many dangers during the Spanish war, and had so many fights, fell a victim to the wind, being wrecked January 21, 1903 on the rocks of Block Island, RI, and here that the MOH was won.

During the storm and wreck, Chief Walsh, instead of seeking his own safety, thought of only duty, and in the engine room closing the valves, releasing the main injecting valve, releasing the safety valve on the main boiler, he htus prevented an explosion. The life boats were all sunk by the heavy seas and the lives of the crew saved by being pulled ashore in a breeches buoy.


Serving on board the U.S.S. Leyden; for heroism at the time of the wreck of that vessel, 21 January 1903.[1]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Interim Awards, 1901-1911; Walsh, Michael entry". Medal of Honor recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  2. "Leyton". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  3. Don Morfe (February 07, 2003). "Michael Walsh". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 

External links[]

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