235,385 Pages

James Benson
Born 1845
Died August 4, 1890 (aged 44–45)
Place of birth Denmark
Place of burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Ossipee
Awards Medal of Honor

James Benson (1845 – August 4, 1890) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


A native of Denmark, Benson joined the U.S. Navy from Yokohama, Japan. By June 20, 1872, he was serving as a seaman on the USS Ossipee. On that day, he jumped overboard and attempted to rescue Landsman John K. Smith from drowning. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on October 10.[1]

Benson's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Ossipee, 20 June 1872. Risking his life, Benson leaped into the sea while the ship was going at a speed of 4 knots and endeavored to save John K. Smith, landsman, of the same vessel, from drowning.[1]

Benson left the Navy while still a seaman. He died on August 4, 1890, at age 44 or 45 and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Medal of Honor recipients - Interim Awards, 1871–1898". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  2. "James Benson". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. May 16, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).