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John Dempsey
Born 1848
Place of birth Ireland
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Kearsarge
Awards Medal of Honor

John Dempsey (born 1848, date of death unknown) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


Born in 1848 in Ireland, Dempsey immigrated to the United States and joined the U.S. Navy from Massachusetts. By January 23, 1875, he was serving as a seaman on the USS Kearsarge. On that day, while Kearsarge was at Shanghai, China, he jumped overboard and rescued a shipmate from drowning. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.[1]

Dempsey's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Kearsarge at Shanghai, China, 23 January 1875. Displaying gallant conduct, Dempsey jumped overboard from the Kearsarge and rescued from drowning one of the crew of that vessel.[1]

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