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Medal of Honor Citation
30 September 1918 | Atlantic Ocean
JAMES JONAS MADISON
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve Force
Born: 20 May 1884, Jersey City, NJ
Appointed from: Mississippi
For exceptionally heroic service in a position of great responsibility as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, when, on 30 September 1918, that vessel was attacked by an enemy submarine and was sunk after a prolonged and gallant resistance. The submarine opened fire at a range of 500 yards, the first shots taking effect on the bridge and forecastle, 1 of the 2 forward guns of the Ticonderoga being disabled by the second shot. The fire was returned and the fight continued for nearly 2 hours. Lt. Comdr. Madison was severely wounded early in the fight, but caused himself to be placed in a chair on the bridge and continued to direct the fire and to maneuver the ship. When the order was finally given to abandon the sinking ship, he became unconscious from loss of blood, but was lowered into a lifeboat and was saved, with 31 others, out of a total number of 236 on board.
Notes: He was later promoted to the rank of Commander and was also entitled to the World War I Victory Medal with "Transport" clasp. The original citation had the date listed (incorrectly) as 4 October 1918. The German U-Boat that sank the Ticonderoga was the U-152.