Harry C. Beasley

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For the British anthropologist, see Harry Geoffrey Beasley
Harry C. Beasley
Born (1888-11-01)November 1, 1888
Newark, Ohio
Died July 2, 1931(1931-07-02) (aged 42)
Newark, Ohio
Place of burial Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newark, Ohio
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Rank Chief Petty Officer
Unit USS Florida (BB-30)
Battles/wars United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914
Awards Medal of Honor,
Good Conduct Medal,
World War I Victory Medal,
Mexican Service Medal,
Navy Expeditionary Medal
Other work Police Officer

Harry C. Beasley (November 1, 1888 – July 2, 1931) was a United States Navy seaman who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914. He also served as a police officer in Newark, Ohio, where he was killed in the line of duty by unknown gunmen in 1931.

Life[edit]

Beasley was born in 1888 in Newark, Ohio. After joining the United States Navy, Beasley served as a seaman on board the USS Florida.

Shortly after being award the Medal of Honor in 1914 for actions during United States occupation of Veracruz, Beasley left the Navy. However, he reenlisted during World War I and served until 1921, eventually reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer.[1]

Service during United States occupation of Veracruz[edit]

In 1914, Beasley took part in the United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914, serving as an armed Navy sailor (known as "Bluejackets") tasked with capturing the city's Customs House.[2] Led by Ensign George M. Lowry, Beasley's company was pinned down by "murderous rifle and machine-gun fire." Not wanting to risk his entire company, Lowry asked for volunteers to approach the Custom's House from the side. Five men volunteered: Beasley, Joseph G. Harner, Coxswain J. F. Schumaker, Boatswain's Mate Second Class George Cregan, and Seaman Lawrence C. Sinnett.

Lowry led the volunteers into a narrow alley, where they came under a cross fire from riflemen in the Custom's Building and machine gunners in a nearby hotel. During this fighting, "A bullet clipped one of the buttons off Lowry's cap and another tore through his right legging, creasing the flesh. Beasley was slightly wounded, and Schumaker was shot through the head."[2]

After his men were able to silence the machine gunners with return rifle fire, Lowry called for a corpsman to help Schumaker. Hospital Apprentice First Class William Zuiderveld ran down the alley and tried to stop the flow of blood from Schumaker's head, but was unable to do so. Schumaker soon died.[3]

Once Zuiderveld carried Schumaker to the rear, Lowry and his surviving men worked their way up the alley and scaled the wall around the Custom's House. After Lowry and his men smashed through a window of the Custom's House, the personnel inside surrendered. Several days later, Lowry returned to the scene and counted twelve bullet impacts on the wall where his men had climbed it.[4]

Beasley, along with almost all of the men who volunteered for the attack, received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Later life and death[edit]

After the war Beasley returned to his hometown of Newark and, in 1926, became a police officer with the city's police department. During the evening of June 30, 1931, Beasley was walking a downtown beat when "he was gunned down by an armed gang attempting the theft of a safe from a local shoe store." He died two days later from multiple gunshot wounds; his killers were never identified or caught. Beasley is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newark, Ohio. His grave can be found in section 16, lot 123.[5]

Beasley's Medal of Honor and other military awards are on display in the lobby of the Newark Police Department, having been donated by his surviving relatives.[1]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: November 1, 1888 Ohio. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 101, June 15, 1914.

Citation:

On board the U.S.S. Florida for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, April 21, 1914.[6]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Beasley's Medals" LickingCountyVeterans.com". Retrieved July 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b The Landing at Veracruz, 1914, by Jack Sweetman, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1968, page 72.
  3. ^ The Landing at Veracruz, 1914, by Jack Sweetman, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1968, page 72-3.
  4. ^ The Landing at Veracruz, 1914, by Jack Sweetman, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1968, page 73.
  5. ^ "Harry C. Beasley". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved December 1, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Harry C. Beasley, Medal of Honor recipient". Mexican Campaign (Vera Cruz). United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

References[edit]