b. 03/10/1872 Paterson, New Jersey. d. 24/09/1916 San Francisco, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 30/06/1898 Tayacoba, near Trinidad, Cuba.
Spanish-American Medal of Honor Recipient. A US Army "Buffalo Soldier" he received the award on June 23, 1899 for his actions as a private in Troop G, 10th Cavalry Regiment, on June 30, 1898 at the Battle of Tayacoba near Trinidad, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. Nothing is known of his early life except that he joined the US Army from Paterson, New Jersey. After the Spanish-American War broke out in April 1898, his unit was part of the American troops aboard the chartered USS Florida that sent a landing party near Trinidad, Cuba to scout Spanish positions. After the party was discovered, they came under heavy fire and their boats were sunk, stranding them on shore and preventing them from retreating. Several attempts were made to rescue them but were forced to turn back due to heavy fire from the enemy. On the fifth attempt, under cover of darkness, Tompkins and several other 10th Cavalry privates managed to locate the survivors and bring them back to safety on the USS Florida. He and the other rescuers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts. He was later promoted to the rank of sergeant. He died at the age of 43.
Voluntarily went ashore in the face of the enemy and aided in the rescue of his wounded comrades; this after several previous attempts at rescue had been frustrated.
BURIAL LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
Section WS, Grave 1036, Lot A
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