John McCloy MOH (Double Recipient)

b. 03/01/1876 Brewster, New York. d. 25/05/1945 Leonia, New Jersey.

DATES OF MOH ACTIONS: 20-22/06/1900 Wu Tsing Hune and near Peh Tsang, China

22/04/1914 Veracruz, Mexico.

John McCloy MOH


John J. McCloy was born on January 3, 1876 in Brewster, NY to James McCloy and Sophia Beatty. John McCloy joined the Merchant Marine when he was 15 and enlisted in the United States Navy on March 7, 1898. He served on the cruiser USS Columbia in the West Indies during the Spanish–American War.

McCloy was then posted to the cruiser USS Newark (C-1) which served in the Philippines in 1900 and then participated in the China Relief Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion. He received his first Medal of Honor “for distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battles of the 13th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd of June 1900, while with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China.”

McCloy married Sarah Frances on August 17, 1905. They had one child together, John II, in 1909.

He was warranted as a boatswain on July 30, 1903 and was promoted to chief boatswain on July 30, 1909. His second Medal of Honor was awarded to him “for distinguished conduct in battle and extraordinary heroism; engagement of Vera Cruz, April 22, 1914.” Following the United States’ entry into World War I, he was commissioned an ensign on July 1, 1917. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant on July 1, 1918.

Immediately after World War I, McCloy served as the first commander of the minesweeper USS Curlew (AM-8) from January 1919 to November 1920. The most significant service of the Curlew during McCloy’s command was clearing the mines of the North Sea mine barrage. For this work McCloy was decorated with the Navy Cross. He was permanently promoted to lieutenant on August 3, 1920.

McCloy served as the National Commander of the Legion of Valor from 1922 to 1923. In November 1923 he was assigned to command the minesweeper USS Lark (AM-23), based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and he was later transferred to the destroyer tender USS Dobbin (AD-3). He retired from active duty as a lieutenant on October 15, 1928, and was promoted in retirement to lieutenant commander on February 23, 1942.

McCloy was a companion of the Naval Order of the United States and was active in both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was a founding member of American Legion Post No. 1 in Leonia, New Jersey, the first American Legion post in the state. He was also a member of the Military Order of the Dragon.

McCloy died of an apparent heart attack on May 25, 1945, in his home in Leonia.



First Award: In action with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. During this period and in the presence of the enemy, Coxswain McCloy distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.


Second Award: For heroism in leading three picket launches along Vera Cruz sea front, drawing Mexican fire and enabling cruisers to save our men onshore, 22 April 1914. Though wounded, he gallantly remained at his post.



SECTION 8, LOT 5246.