b. 11/08/1870 Newark, New Jersey. d. 30/06/1901 Philippines.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/09/1892 Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland.
Eilers was born August 11, 1870 in Newark, New Jersey and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1885. After joining the Navy he was stationed aboard the USS Philadelphia (C-4) as a gunner's mate. On September 17, 1892 the USS Philadelphia was participating in a mock attack on Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland when a cartridge exploded prematurely. Hot embers blew down one of the ammunition chutes, nearly injuring three other members of the crew and causing others to run for their lives. Although the ammunition could have ignited at any time due to the hot embers Eilers risked his life to remain at his post in the magazine until all of the burning particles had been stamped out.
For his actions Eilers received the Medal of Honor on November 22, 1892.
In addition to the Medal of Honor Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy issued General Order number 404 directing that Eilers be promoted to the rank of acting gunner for “extraordinary heroism”. His date of rank as gunner was November 5, 1892.
He was assigned to the USS Kentucky (BB-6) on September 5, 1899 and was married sometime in the same year.
On board the U.S.S. Philadelphia during the sham attack on Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md., 17 September 1892. Displaying extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on this occasion, Eilers remained at his post in the magazine and stamped out the burning particles of a prematurely exploded cartridge which had blown down the chute.
BURIAL LOCATION: CYPRESS HILLS CEMETERY, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
Section 6, Lot 202B
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