James Jonas Madison

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James Jonas Madison
James Jonas Madison.jpg
Born (1884-05-20)May 20, 1884
Jersey City, New Jersey
Died December 25, 1922(1922-12-25) (aged 38)
Brooklyn, New York
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve
Years of service 1917 - 1920
Rank Commander
Commands held USS Ticonderoga
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor

Commander James Jonas Madison, USNRF (May 20, 1884 – December 25, 1922) was an officer in the United States Naval Reserve and a World War I recipient of the Medal of Honor.


Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Madison was appointed lieutenant in the Naval Reserve on May 8, 1917. He was the commanding officer of the cargo steamship USS Ticonderoga, when on September 30, 1918, she was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U152, Commander Madison, in spite of severe wounds which later necessitated the amputation of a leg, continued to direct and maneuver the ship until forced to order her abandoned. Due to his injuries, he retired in August 1920, following his promotion to commander.[1] He remained hospitalized for the rest of his life.

Madison died at the US Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, New York on December 25, 1922. He was interred at Fairview Cemetery (Fairview, New Jersey).

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve Force. Born: May 20, 1884, Jersey City, N.J. Appointed from: Mississippi.


For exceptionally heroic service in a position of great responsibility as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, when, on 4 October 1918, that vessel was attacked by an enemy submarine and was sunk after a prolonged and gallant resistance. The submarine opened fire at a range of 500 yards, the first shots taking effect on the bridge and forecastle, 1 of the 2 forward guns of the Ticonderoga being disabled by the second shot. The fire was returned and the fight continued for nearly 2 hours. Lt. Comdr. Madison was severely wounded early in the fight, but caused himself to be placed in a chair on the bridge and continued to direct the fire and to maneuver the ship. When the order was finally given to abandon the sinking ship, he became unconscious from loss of blood, but was lowered into a lifeboat and was saved, with 31 others, out of a total number of 236 on board.[2]


USS Madison (DD-425) was named for him.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  1. ^ US People: James J. Madison
  2. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.