235,388 Pages

James Francis O'Conner
Born (1861-11-28)November 28, 1861
Died September 17, 1940(1940-09-17) (aged 78)
Place of birth Portsmouth, Virginia
Place of burial Oak Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Landsman
Unit USS Jean Sands
Awards Medal of Honor

James Francis O'Conner (November 28, 1861 – September 17, 1940) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


Born on November 28, 1861, in Portsmouth, Virginia, O'Conner joined the Navy from that state.[1][2] By June 15, 1880, he was serving as a landsman in the engineering department of the USS Jean Sands. On that night, while Jean Sands was outside the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, he and another sailor, Landsman William Sweeney, jumped overboard and rescued a young girl from drowning. For this action, both O'Conner and Sweeney were awarded the Medal of Honor four years later, on October 18, 1884.[1]

O'Conner's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Jean Sands, opposite the Norfolk Navy Yard, on the night of 15 June 1880, and rescuing from drowning a young girl who had fallen overboard.[1]

O'Conner died on September 17, 1940, at age 78 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Medal of Honor recipients - Interim Awards, 1871–1898". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "James F. O'Conner". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. September 26, 2003. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 

External linksEdit

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