Alexander Joseph Foley MOH

b. 19/02/1866 Heckscherville, Pennsylvania. d. 14/01/1910 Culebra, Puerto Rico.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 13/07/1900 Tientsin, China.

Alexander J Foley MOH

Foley was born in Heckscherville, Pennsylvania to Irish immigrants, Edward and Catherine McDonald Foley. At a young age he decided that he was not going to work the coal mines as his father had done. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1888 for a period of five years. In 1893, he re-enlisted and, in 1898, he was sent to Cuba during the Spanish–American War where he received his first taste of military action. He also participated in the Philippines Campaign.

n 1900, members of a Chinese nationalist society, known as the Righteous Harmony Society or in contemporary English parlance, “Boxers”, resented the presence of Western foreigners and Chinese Christians on their soil and proceeded to attack them. This became known as the Boxer Rebellion. Hundreds of foreigners were murdered. The British Legation at Peking was under siege for two months and soon after the international settlement at Tientsin was also placed under siege by the Boxers. The small garrison of Marines stationed in Tientsin found themselves under attack and outnumbered by the nationalists, who were determined to “drive the foreign devils” out. A multinational military force from the Eight-Nation Alliance whose members were Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States and consisting of 50,000 troops were sent to Tientsin to reinforce the troops already there.

He received the Medal of Honor on 15 August 1901. Following his service in China, he was assigned to the Culebra Naval Station, Culebra, Puerto Rico, where he died from a heart attack at the age of 44.



In the presence of the enemy in the battle near Tientsin, China, July 13, 1900, Foley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.