TM2 Henry Breault (1923)

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

Torpedoman Second Class Henry Breault, USN (center) receives the Medal of Honor from President Calvin Coolidge, in ceremonies at the White House, Washington, D.C., on 8 March 1924. Captain Adolphus Andrews, Presidential Naval Aide, is at left. Breault was awarded the Medal of Honor for “heroism and devotion to duty” during the sinking of USS O-5 (SS-66) on 28 October 1923. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Henry Breault was born in Putnam, Connecticut, on 14 October 1900. He enlisted in the British Royal Navy at sixteen years of age and, after serving under the White Ensign for four years, joined the U.S. Navy. On 28 October 1923 Torpedoman 2nd Class Breault was a member of the crew of USS O-5 (SS-66) when that submarine was sunk in a collision. Though he could have escaped, Breault chose to assist a shipmate, and remained inside the sunken submarine until both were rescued more than a day later. For his “heroism and devotion to duty” on this occasion, Henry Breault was awarded the Medal of Honor. Following twenty years of U.S. Navy service, Henry Breault became ill with a heart condition. He died at the Naval Hospital at Newport, Rhode Island, on 4 December 1941.

A head and shoulders photograph of TM2 Henry Breault, showing him wearing the Medal of Honor at the time it was presented to him in March 1924, was published in the February 1972 issue of the magazine “U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings”, with an article by Captain Julius Grigore, Jr., USNR, entitled “The O-5 is Down!”. The photograph, on page 59 of the magazine, shows TM2 Breault looking directly at the camera. He is wearing a blue uniform jumper with a “flat hat”. This image is credited to “The Baltimore Sun” newspaper.