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Michael J. Ryan

Date of death: Deceased


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Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Machinist First Class Michael J. Ryan, United States Coast Guard, for extraordinary heroism as a member of crew of the U.S.S. SENECA in an attempt to save the coal-laden steamer WELLINGTON after that vessel had been torpedoed on 16 September 1918. Immediately after the ship was torpedoed she was abandoned by her crew. Volunteers were called from the SENECA. Machinist First Class Ryan was one of the eighteen who volunteered although there was a high sea running and it was known she was in danger also of further submarine attack. The vessel was kept afloat for some hours but finally sunk. Of the eighteen men who volunteered, only eight were rescued, the others being drowned.

Action Date: September 16, 1918

Service: Coast Guard

Division: U.S.S. Seneca