Harry Chapman Adriance MOH

b. 27/10/1864 Oswego, New York. d. 25/01/1934 Coney Island, New York.

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

Harry Adriance was born on October 27, 1864 in Oswego, New York. At the age of 33, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Boston, Massachusetts on June 15, 1898. He served at Marine Barracks, New York Navy Yard and then was transferred to the U.S. Naval Base, Cavite, Philippine Islands, arriving there on September 21, 1899.

He was among the Marines sent to the city of Tientsin on June 29, 1900 at the outbreak of hostilities by the Boxers in China. Two weeks after arriving in China, Cpl Adriance distinguished himself by meritorious conduct during the battle near Tientsin. He served with the China Relief Expedition until October 10, 1900. On March 24, 1902, Cpl Adriance was presented with the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 13, 1900.

Corporal Adriance returned to Cavite after his tour in China ended and then was transferred to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York on July 20, 1902. He was discharged there at the rank of Sergeant on June 19, 1903. Three weeks later, Sgt Adriance re-enlisted in Buffalo, New York. A contested court-martial approximately one year later regarding theft charges resulted in Sgt Adriance receiving a bad conduct discharge from the Marine Corps and a reduction in rank to private on September 7, 1904.

Adriance died in a Coney Island, New York, hospital on January 25, 1934, at the age of 70 from gallstones and jaundice. Records indicate that he was cremated and his ashes removed by his family. In the late 1980s, the Marine Corps League in his hometown of Oswego initiated an attempt to overturn Harry Adriance’s discharge for bad conduct. The outcome of these proceedings are unknown.  



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