Richard Wainwright (Medal of Honor)

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For other people named Richard Wainwright, see Richard Wainwright (disambiguation).
Richard Wainwright
Richard Wainwright Jr USNA.jpg
Wainwright as a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman
Born (1881-09-15)September 15, 1881
Washington, D.C.
Died March 28, 1944(1944-03-28) (aged 62)
Annapolis, Maryland
Place of burial United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1903-1921
Rank Commander
Commands held Landing force from the USS Florida (BB-30)
Battles/wars Veracruz (1914)
Awards Medal of Honor
Relations son of Admiral Richard Wainwright

Commander Richard Wainwright, Jr. (September 15, 1881 – March 28, 1944), was an officer in the United States Navy during World War I who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the 1914 Veracruz action.


Born in Washington, D.C., the son of Evelyn Wotherspoon and Richard Wainwright. He was the grandson of the son of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Wainwright. He was the great-grandson of Richard Bache, Jr., who served in the Republic of Texas navy and was elected to serve in the Texas legislature and Sophia Burrell Dallas, the daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander J. Dallas an American statesman who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison. He was also great-great-grandson of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and more notably he was the great-great-great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin as well as a nephew of George Mifflin Dallas, the 11th Vice President of the United States, serving under James K. Polk.

His uncle was Admiral Seaton Schroeder.

He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1903, and served on board battleship USS Louisiana (BB-19) during that ship's participation in the voyage of the Great White Fleet around the world from 1907 to 1909. Wainwright received the Medal of Honor for his outstanding conduct in battle while commanding a landing force from battleship USS Florida (BB-30) at Vera Cruz, Mexico, on 21 and April 22, 1914.

Richard Wainwright married Alice Sorrel Blech (1882-1965). The couple had at least one child, Richard Wainwright III (1911-1936).

Wainwright retired from the Navy as a Commander, with a physical disability, on March 3, 1921.

He died in Annapolis, Maryland March 28, 1944, and is buried in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.

Wainwright shaking hands with United States President Theodore Roosevelt as Wainwright graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Lt. Wainwright was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion; was in the fighting of both days, and exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through action. In seizing the customhouse, he encountered for many hours the heaviest and most pernicious concealed fire of the entire day, but his courage and coolness under trying conditions were marked.


Three ships have been named USS Wainwright for his father Richard, his grandfather and two cousins.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.