b. 23/10/1883 Chicago, Illinois. d. 22/10/1959 San Diego, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 21/07/1905 USS Bennington, San Diego, California.
Cronan was born October 23, 1883 in Chicago, Illinois and after joining the navy was stationed aboard the USS Bennington (PG-4) as a Boatswain’s Mate. On July 21, 1905 the USS Bennington was in San Diego, California when a boiler exploded. The combination of the explosion and the scalding steam killed a number of men outright and left others mortally wounded; the final death toll was one officer, Ensign Newman K. Perry and sixty-five men, making it one of the U.S. Navy’s worst peacetime disasters. Nearly all of the forty-six who survived had an injury of some sort. Wounded himself, Cronan saved three of his shipmates from drowning, the third, after Cronan escaped from triage. For his actions Boatswain’s Mate Cronan was awarded the peacetime Medal on January 5, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the 1940s.
Serving on board the U.S.S. Bennington, for extraordinary heroism displayed at the time of the explosion of a boiler of that vessel at San Diego, Calif., 21 July 1905.
BURIAL LOCATION: FORT ROSECRANS CEMETERY, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
SECTION T, GRAVE 534
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.