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About Frank Monroe Upton
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Quartermaster Frank Monroe Upton, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism following internal explosion of the FLORENCE "H", on 17 April 1918. The sea in the vicinity of wreckage was covered by a mass of boxes of smokeless powder, which were repeatedly exploding. Quartermaster Frank M. Upton, of the U.S.S. Stewart, plunged overboard to rescue a survivor who was surrounded by powder boxes and too exhausted to help himself. Fully realizing the danger from continual explosion of similar powder boxes in the vicinity, he risked his life to save the life of this man.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 403 (1918)
Action Date: 17-Apr-18
Division: U.S.S. Stewart -------------------- Online Library of Selected Images: -- PEOPLE -- UNITED STATES --
Ensign Frank M. Upton, USNRF, (1896-1962)
Frank Monroe Upton was born on 29 April 1896 in Loveland, Colorado. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy from that state and served as a Quartermaster on the destroyer Stewart during World War I. On 17 April 1918, while his ship was serving on escort duty in Quiberon Bay, France, the nearby American steamship Florence H suffered an internal explosion. Though the sea in the vicinity was covered by exploding boxes of smokeless powder, Upton dove into the water and rescued an exhausted survivor. For his "extraordinary heroism" on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
In December 1918, Upton was commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Auxiliary Reserve Force. Upon completion of his military service, Upton became an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine. In January 1926, while serving as a Fourth Mate of the U.S. passenger liner President Roosevelt, he participated in the rescue of the crew of the British freighter Antinoe, which was breaking up in the North Atlantic. Upton, along with the others involved, were awarded the King George V Gallantry at Sea Medal by the British Government and were given a ticker-tape parade in New York City. During World War II, as master of a merchant ship, he voyaged to Murmansk, Russia, the Persian Gulf, and West Europe, and took part in the 6 June 1944 D-Day Landings at Normandy. After his Merchant Marine service, he relocated to Boulder, Colorado and operated a motel. Frank M. Upton died on 25 June 1962 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.