Henry C. Courtney

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Henry C. Courtney
Born 1856
Springfield, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1873 - 1886
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Portsmouth
Awards Medal of Honor

Henry C. Courtney (born 1856, 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 1856 in Springfield, Illinois, Courtney joined the Navy from that state in 1873. By February 7, 1882, he was serving as a seaman on the training ship USS Portsmouth. On that day, while Portsmouth was at the Washington Navy Yard, Courtney and another sailor, Boatswain's Mate Thomas Cramen, jumped overboard and rescued Jack-of-the-Dust Charles Taliaferro from drowning. For this action, both Courtney and Cramen were awarded the Medal of Honor two and a half years later, on October 18, 1884.[1] He left the Navy in 1886. [2]

Courtney's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S. Training Ship Portsmouth, Washington Navy Yard, 7 February 1882. Jumping overboard from that vessel, Courtney assisted in rescuing Charles Taliaferro, jack-of-the-dust, from drowning.[1]

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