Born at Washington, D.C. on September 4, 1875, he earned the Medal of Honor for service aboard the USS Iowa on July 20, 1898 during the Spanish-American War. The Medal was actually issued to him on December 14, 1898.
He died on January 1, 1949 and was buried in Section 11 of Arlington National Cemetery.
KEEFER, PHILIP B.
Rank and organization: Coppersmith, U.S. Navy. Born: 4 September 1875, Washington, D.C. Accredited to: District of Columbia. G.O. No.: 501, 14 December 1898.
On board the U.S.S. Iowa off Santiago de Cuba, 20 July 1898. Following the blow-out of a manhole gasket of that vessel which caused the fireroom to be filled with live steam and the floor plates to be covered with boiling water, Keefer showed courageous and zealous conduct in hauling fires from 2 furnaces of boiler B.
PHILIP B. KEEFER, WON MEDAL OF HONOR IN '98
BETHESDA, Maryland, January 16, 1949 – Philip B. Keefer, an honorably pallbearer at the burial of the Unknown Soldier in 1921 and a holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor, died yesterday in the Naval Hospital at the age of 73.
Mr. Keefer won the nation's highest award for bravery in 1898, when he was credited with saving the lived of 800 crewmen of the battleship Iowa during a fire off the coast of Cuba.
He averted a major explosion aboard the ship by entering the Iowa's hold to extinguish fires in the five furnaces that were heating a damager boiler.
In further recognition of his heroic act, he was asked to serve as an honorary pallbearer when the Unknown Soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921.
Mr. Keefer, who resided in Washington, will be buried in Arlington Cemetery on Tuesday.
KEEFER, PHILIP BOGAN
COPPERSMITH U S N
DATE OF DEATH: 01/15/1949
BURIED AT: SECTION 11 SITE 527 SH
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard