An African-American, Seaman Robert Augustus Sweeney won the Medal of Honor twice. On October 26, 1881, he jumped overboard from the U.S.S. Kearsarge, then docked at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in order to save seaman E.M. Christoverson from drowning. When it appeared that Christoverson, who could not swim, might pull Sweeney under the water, Cadet Midshipman John B. Bernadon leapt in to save both Sweeney and Christoverson. Bernadon was also awarded the Medal of Honor alongside Sweeney (see General Order of the Navy #276). In his second demonstration of unusual bravery, Sweeney was aboard the U.S.S. Jamestown, docked at New York's Navy Yard, on December 20, 1883. Similarly courageous, Sweeney jumped overboard along with landsman J.W. Norris to save a drowning man, A. A. George (see General Order of the Navy #326).