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Photo # NH 79954:  Merrimac Operation Crew, 3 June 1898

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Chief Boatswain Daniel Montague, USN, (1867-1912)

Daniel Montague was born on 22 October 1867 in Wicklow, Ireland. He enlisted in the Navy during the mid-1890s and served in USS New York during the Spanish-American War as a Chief Master-at-Arms. He was one of eight volunteer crew members of the collier Merrimac, which Rear Admiral William T. Sampson ordered sunk to block the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba. On the night of 2-3 June 1898, during the courageous attempt to execute this mission, Merrimac's steering gear was disabled by enemy gunfire, and she sank without obstructing navigation. Her crewmen were rescued by the Spanish and made prisoners-of-war. After the Battle of Santiago de Cuba destroyed the Spanish fleet a month later, Montague and his shipmates were released. For his "extraordinary heroism" during this operation, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Montague was promoted to the warrant officer rank of Boatswain on 15 June 1898, while he was still in Spanish custody. His initial post-war assignment, to the training ship Lancaster, lasted from August 1898 to late in 1901. He then reported for duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. In June 1903 Boatswain Montague reported on board the battleship Wisconsin, serving as Asiatic Station flagship. Montague was promoted to Chief Boatswain in June 1904 and late in that year began service in the old steam sloop Mohican, station ship at Olongapo, Philippine Islands. In the summer of 1906 he was assigned duty at Naval Station, Pensacola, Florida, remaining there until the fall of 1909 when he was transferred to the Philadelphia Naval Yard, Pennsylvania. His last active assignment, in 1911-1912, was to the cruiser Olympia at Norfolk, Virginia, where she was being prepared for use as a barracks ship. Chief Boatswain Daniel Montague died on 4 February 1912 and is buried at the U.S.Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland.

This page features the only image we have concerning Daniel Montague.

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Photo #: NH 79954

USS Merrimac Operation, 3 June 1898

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, published in "Deeds of Valor," Volume II, page 370, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. This image shows an artistic interpretation of the scuttling of USS Merrimac across the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba, with portraits of her crew on this mission. The crew members from upper left to right are Lieutenant Richmond P. Hobson, Coxswain Claus K. R. Clausen (note: official sources state Clausen's first name to be Claus, not Randolph), Coxswain Osborn W. Deignan, Watertender Francis Kelly. The crew members from lower left to right are Coxswain John E. Murphy, Chief Master-At-Arms Daniel Montague, Machinist First Class George F. Phillips, and Gunner's Mate First Class George Charette. All the crew members received the Medal of Honor for this operation.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 615 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of Chief Master-at-Arms Daniel Montague (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 77):

"In connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. Merrimac at the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, 2 June 1898. Despite heavy fire from the Spanish batteries, MONTAGUE displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation."

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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Page made 3 May 2006