Daily Event for October 9, 2006

October 9, 1918 during a refueling along side the USS Chestnuthill ID-2526 the sub chaser USS SC-219 burst into flames. SC-219 was en route to Europe and the Great War when the accident occurred. It took two hours for SC-219 to sink and during this time Chief Gunner's Mate Oscar Schmidt Jr., from the tanker Chestnuthill, would earn a Medal of Honor. Schmidt rescued two men at the risk of his own life from the burning ship. By the time she went under four men were dead and eight more were injured.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in
USS SC-219
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Bassett, Rice
Quartermaster 2nd Class
Gilfillan, Harley J.
Engineman 2nd Class
Kerns, Roy H.
Electrician 2nd Class
Wolford, Robert S.
Quartermaster 2nd Class
Died of wounds Oct. 11.

USS SC-219 burning in the north Atlantic.


Chief Gunner's Mate Oscar Schmidt Jr. (1896-1973)

Medal of Honor Citation

For gallant conduct and extraordinary heroism while attached to the U.S.S. Chestnut Hill, on the occasion of the explosion and subsequent fire on board the U.S. submarine chaser 219. Schmidt, seeing a man, whose legs were partly blown off, hanging on a line from the bow of the 219, jumped overboard, swam to the sub chaser and carried him from the bow to the stern where a member of the 219's crew helped him land the man on the afterdeck of the submarine. Schmidt then endeavored to pass through the flames amidships to get another man who was seriously burned. This he was unable to do, but when the injured man fell overboard and drifted to the stern of the chaser Schmidt helped him aboard.