Herbert Emery Schonland – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

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Born at Portland, Maine, September 7, 1900, he attended Severna Preparatory School, Severna Park, Maryland, and then graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1925. He was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1925; U.S. Naval Torpedo School, 1919.

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He was commissioned an Ensign, 1925, and advanced through the grades to Rear Admiral, 1947. He served on the USS Utah, 1925; USS Bushnell, 1931; shore duty at the Naval Torpedo Station, 1931-33; on the USS Milwaukee, 1934; the USS Argonne, 1935-37; at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, 1937-39; on the USS San Francisco, 1939-42, Executive Officer, 1943; at Damage Control School, San Francisco, 1944; Chief of Staff, Naval Training and Distribution Center, Treasure Island, California, 1945-46; retired from the Navy on January 1, 1947. Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Santa Clara from 1947.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II while serving as Commander aboard the USS San Francisco at Savo Island on November 12-13, 1943, “For extreme heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as damage control officer of the USS San Francisco in action against a greatly superior enemy force in the battle off Savo Island. In that violent night action in which all of his superior officers were killed or wounded, he was fighting valiantly to free his ship of large quantities of water flooding the second deck compartments through numerous shell holes caused by enemy fire. In water waist deep, he carried on his efforts in darkness until the water in the flooded compartments had been drained or pumped off and water-tight integrity had again been obtained. His great personal valor and gallant devotion to duty at great peril to his own life were instrumental in bringing his ship back to port under her own power, saved to fight again in the service of her country.”

He died on November 13,1984 and was buried in Section 7-A ( Grave 168) of Arlington National Cemetery, just a short distance from the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Memorial Amphitheater.


SCHONLAND, HERBERT EMERY

Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. San Francisco Place and date: Savo Island, 12-13 November 1943. Entered service at. Maine. Born: 7 September 1900, Portland, Maine.

Citation

For extreme heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as damage control officer of the U.S.S. San Francisco in action against greatly superior enemy forces in the battle off Savo Island, 12-13 November 1942. In the same violent night engagement in which all of his superior officers were killed or wounded, Lt. Comdr. Schonland was fighting valiantly to free the San Francisco of large quantities of water flooding the second deck compartments through numerous shell holes caused by enemy fire. Upon being informed that he was commanding officer, he ascertained that the conning of the ship was being efficiently handled, then directed the officer who had taken over that task to continue while he himself resumed the vitally important work of maintaining the stability of the ship. In water waist deep, he carried on his efforts in darkness illuminated only by hand lanterns until water in flooded compartments had been drained or pumped off and watertight integrity had again been restored to the San Francisco. His great personal valor and gallant devotion to duty at great peril to his own life were instrumental in bringing his ship back to port under her own power, saved to fight again in the service of her country.

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