b. 29/12/1884 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. d. 31/08/1974 Tacoma, Washington.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 21-22/04/1914 Veracruz, Mexico.
Abraham DeSomer was born on December 29, 1884 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the early 1900s, he enlisted in the United States Navy from that state. Following his initial sea duty on board the gunboat USS Yorktown, DeSomer transferred to the monitor USS Monadnock, which served on the Asiatic Station, and became a Gunner’s Mate. From 1907 to 1911, he was assigned to the battleship USS Nebraska. DeSomer was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 1910. A year later, he reported to the battleship USS Utah. While serving on that ship from 21–22 April 1914, during the intervention at Veracruz, Mexico, his “extraordinary herosim in the line of his profession” was recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor. His Medal was presented by the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, on the deck of USS Florida on 6 January 1915.
In February 1915 DeSomer was promoted to the Warrant Officer rank of Gunner. During the next four years he served on the transport USS Hancock, the armored cruiser USS Montana and the battleship USS 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 USS California. DeSomer began two more years of training duty at Great Lakes in the summer of 1925, then was assigned to the destroyer tender USS Dobbin and the aircraft carrier USS 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 America’s defenses. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander on the retired list in February 1942, he remained on active status through the war years.
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 April 22, 1914.
BURIAL LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
SECTION MA, GRAVE 15 (Cenotaph as believed to be buried at sea)
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER, WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON DC.