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Hospital Steward William Shacklette

Date of Award: January 5, 1906
Conflict: N/A
Branch: U.S. Navy

Hospital Steward William Shacklette portraitHospital Steward William Shacklette joined the U.S. Navy when he was 22 years old. He enlisted for four years as a Hospital Apprentice First Class at the U.S. Naval Rendezvous at the Washington Navy Yard and served on two ships before transferring to the gunboat U.S.S. Bennington. On the morning of July 21, 1905, two boilers exploded in the ship while en route to San Diego Bay. The boilers showered the ship with steam and boiling water, killing 60 men and badly burning 40 others. Although suffering from burns himself, Shacklette applied his medical skills adeptly and saved many lives.

Citation: “For extraordinary heroism while serving on the U.S.S. Bennington at the time of the explosion of a boiler of that vessel at San Diego, Calif., 21 July 1905.”

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