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Sampson Medal MoH recipient


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I recently acquired this historical Sampson Medal on the FB “Make Offer” Page which I’m sure many of you saw when it was listed then. I am extremely delighted to be the new caretaker of John’s Sampson Medal. 

I plan on having his records pulled to shed light on his complete service in the U.S. Navy. 

I haven’t been able to come up with a photo of him or much surrounding the presentation of his MoH. Hoping someone here on the forum can point me in the right direction, I’ve exhausted the google search engine with not much more available then this:



United States Navy Boatswains Mate John S. Stokes was born on June 12th 1871, in New York, N.Y. 


He enlisted in the Navy and had risen to the rank of chief master-at-arms when, on March 31, 1899, on board the armored cruiser USS New York he jumped overboard to assist in the rescue of a fellow sailor who was in danger of drowning. 


For this action he was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 29, 1899.  


CITATION:     G.O. No.: 525 29 July 1899 

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Chief Master At Arms John S. Stokes, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession while serving on board the U.S.S. New York off the coast of Jamaica, 31 March 1899. Showing gallant conduct, Chief Master at Arms Stokes jumped overboard and assisted in the rescue of Peter Mahoney, Watertender, U.S. Navy.


He was appointed to the warrant officer rank of boatswain on January 31st 1907 and retired from the Navy on July 26th 1911.

He spent the last years of his life at the US Navy Treatment Hospital in Washington, D.C.  


He died on February 14, 1923, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.




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Brian Dentino
1 hour ago, KurtA said:

That’s really nice. 
(Have to wonder why he was awarded an MOH rather than a Life Saving Medal?) 

My thought as well Kurt?

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