John Davis, Seaman

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John Davis, Seaman

Birthdate: (49)
Birthplace: Kingston, St Andrew Parish, Jamaica
Death: August 19, 1903 (49)
Place of Burial: Hampton, VA, United States
Occupation: USS Trenton
Managed by: Ashley Odell
Last Updated:

About John Davis, Seaman

John Davis (1854 – August 19, 1903) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


Born in 1854 in Kingslow, Jamaica, Davis immigrated to the United States and by February 1881 was serving as an ordinary seaman on the USS Trenton. Sometime during that month, while Trenton was at Toulon, France, Coxswain Augustus Ohlensen fell overboard and, because he could not swim, began to sink. Davis and another sailor, Seaman Alexander Haure Turvelin, jumped into the water and rescued Ohlensen from drowning. For this action, both he and Turvelin were awarded the Medal of Honor three and a half years later, on October 18, 1884.

Davis' official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Trenton, Toulon, France, February 1881. Jumping overboard, Davis rescued Augustus Ohlensen, coxswain, from drowning

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John Davis, Seaman's Timeline

Kingston, St Andrew Parish, Jamaica
August 19, 1903
Age 49
Hampton, VA, United States