b. 26/11/1853 Gross Katz, Prussia (now Germany). d. 11/06/1933 San Francisco, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/05/1898 Manila, Philippines.
Spanish-American War Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Gross Katz, Germany, he served in the United States Navy during the War with Spain as a Chief Carpenter’s Mate on board the “USS Petrel”. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during the United States Naval victory at Manila Bay, Philippine Islands on May 1, 1898. His citation reads simply “Serving in the presence of the enemy, Itrich displayed heroism during the action”, but does not give the full story of his action. Just after the United States fleet under Admiral George Dewey destroyed nearly all of the Spanish ships in Manila Bay, Franz Itrich and a crew of seven men spent seven hours winding their way around the flaming Spanish wrecks to sink those that still were afloat and posed a threat to the American ships. The potential for danger was tremendous, as each ship still could hold explosives, ordinance and Spanish sailors who had not abandoned their vessel. Carpenter’s Mate Itrich personally boarded a number of wrecks, despite the danger, to direct how it would be sent to the bottom of the bay and be rendered harmless. His Medal was awarded to him on December 5, 1900. His act was the first to merit the Medal of Honor during the Spanish-American War.
He was promoted to chief carpenter on September 29, 1904. He retired from the Navy on August 14, 1909, after 25 years of service.
On board the U.S.S. Petrel, Manila, Philippine Islands, 1 May 1898. Serving in the presence of the enemy, Itrich displayed heroism during the action.
BURIAL LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
SECTION OSA, ROW 83, GRAVE 5.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.