( November 24, 1878 - May 18, 1940 )
Citation: On board the USS Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cientuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Chadwick set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this period.
"Leonard Chadwick" was born on November 24, 1878, in Middletown, Delaware. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Philadelphia on October 26, 1895. He was described as 5' 7", blue eyes, and light brown hair. During his enlistment he served aboard the USS Richmond, Vermont, Constellation, Alliance, Puritan, Brooklyn, Texas and Marblehead.
When the war with the Spanish broke out in 1898, it was determined by the U.S. Government to blockade the island of Cuba, then a Spanish colony. It was determined necessary to block all possible communication in and out of Cuba which made it necessary to cut oceanic cables. To cut those cables they had be approach a well guarded cable house just 100 feet off the shore of Cientuegos, Cuba. Chadwick was one of 30 men to be assigned the duty of locating and cutting the cables. To cut the cables they had to use a hack saw which took about one half an hour to cut through them.
The men came under a dangerous fire and more and more soldiers came up as they tried to cut the cable. The operation lasted 3 hours but was a success. Leonard Chadwick was one of 52 men to receive the Medal of Honor for this dangerous assignment. He received his medal on July 7, 1899.
After being discharged from the service, Chadwick, for some unknown reason, moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he sold insurance and worked in the morocco leather industry. In 1923, he had an accident which left him with a dislocated elbow and knee. In 1937, he was declared totally disabled. Chadwick never married and died at his home of asphyxiation and alcoholism on May 18, 1940. He was interred in Mount Hope Cemetery, Mattapan, Massachusetts.
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