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Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN (Retired), (1884-1974)

Abraham DeSomer was born on 29 December 1884 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the early 1900s, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy from that state. Following his initial sea duty on board the gunboat Yorktown, DeSomer transferred to the monitor Monadnock, which served on the Asiatic Station, and became a Gunner's Mate. During 1907-1911, he was assigned to the battleship Nebraska. DeSomer was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 1910. A year later, he reported to the battleship Utah. While serving in that ship on 21-22 April 1914, during the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico, his "extraordinary herosim in the line of his profession" was recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor.

In February 1915 DeSomer was promoted to the warrant officer rank of Gunner. During the next four years he served in the transport Hancock, armored cruiser Montana and battleship Minnesota. He was temporarily commissioned as an Ensign in August 1917 and attained the rank of Lieutenant in September 1918. In the Spring of 1919, DeSomer transferred to Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. He was made a permanent Lieutenant in August 1920 and, a year later, reported to the newly commissioned battleship California. DeSomer began two more years of training duty at Great Lakes in the summer of 1925, then was assigned to the destroyer tender Dobbin and the aircraft carrier Lexington before transferring in November 1930 to Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Following more than thirty years of continuous service as an enlisted man and an officer, Lieutenant DeSomer retired in January 1932. He returned to active duty in the summer of 1940, after the fall of France prompted a massive expansion of the Nation's defenses. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander on the retired list in February 1942, he remained in active status through the war years. Abraham DeSomer died on 31 August 1974 and is memorialized at the San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, California.

This page features, and provides links to, selected views concerning Abraham DeSomer.

Additional images related to Abraham DeSomer


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Photo #: NH 104053

Gunner's Mate Second Class Abraham DeSomer, USN


Portrait photograph, taken in 1907 by A.T. Miles, Bremerton, Washington.
Note the Seaman Gunner "flaming bomb" insignia below his rating badge.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 36KB; 430 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103834

Chief Turret Captain Abraham DeSomer, USN


Photographed in 1910, just after reenlisting for his third enlistment.
DeSomer received the Medal of Honor for his "extraordinary heroism" during the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 41KB; 490 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 82101

Gunner Abraham DeSomer, USN


Portrait taken 1 October 1916, wearing the Medal of Honor he won for his "extraordinary heroism" at Veracruz, Mexico during 21-22 April 1914.
Note the "flaming bomb" insignia and other details of his uniform.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 32KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103837

Lieutenant Abraham DeSomer, USN


Photographed with a bull dog at Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, 1919.
This was his first shore duty after eighteen years of service.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 51KB; 460 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103838

Lieutenant Abraham DeSomer, USN


Photographed in Special Full Dress uniform, on the quarterdeck of USS California (BB-44), 1925.
He is wearing the Medal of Honor, awarded for "extraordinary heroism" during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 and 22 April 1914.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 37KB; 490 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103840

Lieutenant Abraham DeSomer, USN


Portrait photograph, taken in 1929.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 35KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103841

Lieutenant Abraham DeSomer, USN


Photographed in February 1929 on board USS Dobbin (AD-3).
Note the wicker deckchair at right.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 49KB; 450 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103842

Lieutenant Abraham DeSomer, USN


At the Fleet Air Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii at the time of his retirement ceremony, probably in September 1931. He wrote on the reverse side of the photograph, "Why shouldn't I have a big smile? This was the day I retired from active duty ... after more than 30 years of continuous service"
Note the emergency fire box partially visible at right.

Collection of Lieutenant Commander Abraham DeSomer, USN. Donated by Lieutenant Colonel Russell DeSomer, U.S. Air Force (Retired), 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 64KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 



Medal of Honor citation of Chief Turret Captain Abraham DeSomer, USN. (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 98):

"On board the U.S.S. Utah, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 and 22 April 1914."


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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