The Medal of Honor: Kitsap recipients of the nation’s highest military honor

Left, Medal of Honor recipient QM John H. Nibbe’s grave at Ivy Green Cemetery, Bremerton. Courtesy / Find A Grave

Veterans Day is Nov. 11.

Initially established as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of The Great War — the “war to end all wars” — on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, it has since become a day to honor all of America’s veterans for their love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

In observance of Veterans Day, Veterans Life profiles Kitsap County veterans who received the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.

One received the medal for heroism during the Civil War, one during the Boxer Rebellion, two during peacetime, five during World War II, one during the Korean War, and one during Vietnam.

This is the first in a series of profiles of each of those 11 recipients from Kitsap (with thanks to Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Semancik Foundation).

QM JOHN H. NIBBE, USN (1847-1902): For heroism during the capture of the steamer USS Petrel on the Yazoo River, April 22, 1864. Born in Hamburg, Germany; arrived on Bainbridge Island in 1867. Sailing master, storekeeper and postmaster in early Kitsap County. Interred at Ivy Green Cemetery, Bremerton.

“Served as quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Petrel during its capture in Yazoo River, 22 April 1864. Standing his ground when a shot came through the stern, raking the gundeck and entering and exploding the boilers, when all the others had deserted the flag, Nibbe assisted in getting the wounded off the guard and proceeded to get ready to fire the ship despite the escaping steam from the boilers at which time he was surrounded on all sides by the rebels and forced to surrender.”


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