Born 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.
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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