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Austin Denham
Born (1850-09-29)September 29, 1850
Died June 3, 1948(1948-06-03) (aged 97)
Place of birth England
Place of death Burbank, California
Place of burial Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service c. 1864–1912
Rank Seaman First Class
Unit USS Kansas
Awards Medal of Honor

Austin Denham (September 29, 1850 – June 3, 1948) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


Born on September 29, 1850, in England, Denham immigrated to the United States at age 12.[1] He lived in New York City and enlisted in the Navy as soon as he was old enough.[1][2] By April 12, 1872, he was serving as a seaman on the USS Kansas. On that day, he helped rescue several men who were in danger of drowning after their boat capsized in heavy surf. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor three months later, on July 9, 1872.[3]

Denham's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Kansas near Greytown, Nicaragua, 12 April 1872. Displaying great coolness and self-possession at the time Comdr. A. F. Crosman and others were drowned, Denham, by heroism and personal exertion, prevented greater loss of life.[3]

Denham retired from the Navy in 1912 as a seaman first class, after a 48-year career. He died in Burbank, California, on June 3, 1948, of a heart attack. Aged 97 at his death, he was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient at the time.[1] Denham was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Austin Denham". New York. June 5, 1948. p. 15. 
  2. "Austin Denham". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Medal of Honor recipients - Interim Awards, 1871–1898". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 5, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  4. "Austin Denham". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. September 20, 2002. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 

Further readingEdit

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