About Robert Penn, Fireman
Robert Penn (October 10, 1872–June 8, 1912 at Las Animas, Colorado) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Spanish-American War.
On July 20, 1898, Penn was serving as a Fireman First Class on the USS Iowa (BB-4) off the coast of Santiago de Cuba when a boiler accident occurred. For his actions during the incident, Penn was issued the Medal of Honor five months later, on December 14, 1898.
Medal of Honor citation
Fireman Penn's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Iowa off Santiago de Cuba, 20 July 1898. Performing his duty at the risk of serious scalding at the time of the blowing out of the manhole gasket on board the vessel, Penn hauled the fire while standing on a board thrown across a coal bucket 1 foot above the boiling water which was still blowing from the boiler