Ship Fitter, United States Navy
at Hubbard, Ohio on May 30, 1876 he earned the Medal of Honor on September
17, 1917 while serving aboard the USS Huntington.
He died on January 19, 1936 and was buried
in Section 6 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Rank and organization: Shipfitter First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 30 May 1876, Hubbard, Ohio. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 341, 1917.
For extraordinary heroism while attached to
the Huntington. On the morning of 17 September 1917, while the U.S.S. Huntington
was passing through the war zone, a kite balloon was sent up with Lt. (j.g.)
H. W. Hoyt, U.S. Navy, as observer. When the balloon was about 400 feet
in the air, the temperature suddenly dropped, causing the balloon to descend
about 200 feet, when it was struck by a squall. The balloon was hauled
to the ship's side, but the basket trailed in the water and the pilot was
submerged. McGunigal, with great daring, climbed down the side of the ship,
jumped to the ropes leading to the basket, and cleared the tangle enough
to get the pilot out of them. He then helped the pilot to get clear, put
a bowline around him, and enabled him to be hauled to the deck. A bowline
was lowered to McGunigal and he was taken safely aboard.
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins, 1999
Updated: 30 September 2000 Updated: 30 October 2002 Updated: 15 March 2003 Updated: 28 February 2006 Updated: 7 April 2006