Let the memory and bravery of Otto Schmidt--Congressional Medal of Honor recipient-- be with us forever. "This website was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank."
  • 78 years old
  • Born on August 10, 1884 in Blair, Nebraska, United States.
  • Passed away on February 9, 1963 in Blair, Nebraska, United States.

                                                       Taps for Hero on Thursday

 Otto Schmidt Funeral Will Be at Norfolk

  Norfolk, Neb. (AP)—Funeral will be in Norfolk Thursday afternoon for Otto D. Schmidt, 78, Blair, retired Norfolk letter carrier and a Congressional Medal of Honor winner of more than a half-century ago.
   Mr. Schmidt died Sunday at Blair where he had lived since retirement at Crowell Memor­ial Home.  
   His wife Maud preceded him in death. 
   He received the Congres­sional Medal for heroic acts aboard the Navy gunboat Bennington after a boiler ex­plosion July 21, 1905.
                                                          Through Porthole
   He was trapped in a below-deck shower room and escaped through a porthole.
Sixty of the crew died and many others were seriously wounded.  Mr. Schmidt suffered only a scratch on his arm.
  Born on a farm just outside Blair, he joined the Navy at 16 and had only nine days to serve until his twenty-first birthday aboard the Benning­ton anchored in San Diego Harbor.  
   He asked to stay aboard the Bennington for an extra cruise because he knew he would have to give up his tailor-made uniforms if he went to Mare Island to await discharge, he once said.
                                                          Rescued Wounded
   The Bennington had been coaled and was ready to sail for Pearl Harbor when the blast occurred.  After escaping from the porthole, Mr. Schmidt ran to the deck and helped rescue wounded and later went into the blast-wrecked boiler room and pulled out injured men. 
   After returning from the Navy, Mr. Schmidt was in the monument stone business for several years. He was ap­pointed a mail carrier in Nor­folk in 1922 and retired in 1948.

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