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New Bedford Military Museum seeks help finding pictures of faceless Medal of Honor recipients

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Within New Bedford’s military museum in Fort Taber, you can find a wall displaying the 9 medal of honor recipients of New Bedford. The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest award for military valor in action. According to the “National Medal of Honor Museum”, of the 40 million Americans who have served in the Armed Forces since the Civil War, only 3,517 have earned the Medal of Honor.

Two of the nine New Bedford recipients have no photograph or painted portrait to display in our military museum, or any museum for that matter. I know it’s a long shot, but if anyone has any historical photographs or paintings which could resemble these two individuals, please reach out as you will quite literally be holding on to a one-of-one historical photograph.

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The first Medal of Honor recipient is William P Brownell who was born in New York on July 12th, 1839 and died in New York on April 26th, 1915. He is buried in OAK GROVE CEMETERY (MH) (GG-31), NEW BEDFORD, MA, UNITED STATES.

• RANK: COXSWAIN (HIGHEST RANK: ACTING MASTER’S MATE)
• CONFLICT/ERA: U.S. CIVIL WAR
• UNIT/COMMAND: U.S.S. BENTON
• MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. NAVY
• MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: MAY 22, 1863
• MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: GREAT GULF BAY & VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI, USA

“Served as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Benton during the attack on Great Gulf Bay, 2 May 1863, and Vicksburg, 22 May 1863. Carrying out his duties with coolness and courage, Brownell served gallantly against the enemy as captain of a 9-inch gun in the attacks on Great Gulf and Vicksburg and as a member of the Battery Benton before Vicksburg.”

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Steven Richard photo.

The next Medal of Honor recipient is Philip Bazaar who was born in Chile with no birth date available and died on December 28th, 1923 in New York City. He is buried in CALVARY CEMETERY (BURIED AS BAZAN), NEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES and his award is accredited to New Bedford, MA.

• ALSO KNOWN AS: BAZAN, PHILIP
• RANK: ORDINARY SEAMAN
• CONFLICT/ERA: U.S. CIVIL WAR
• UNIT/COMMAND: U.S.S. SANTIAGO DE CUBA
• MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. NAVY
• MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: JANUARY 15, 1865
• MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: FORT FISHER, NORTH CAROLINA, USA

“On board the U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba during the assault on Fort Fisher on 15 January 1865. As one of a boat crew detailed to one of the generals onshore, O.S. Bazaar bravely entered the fort in the assault and accompanied his party in carrying dispatches at the height of the battle. He was one of six men who entered the fort in the assault from the fleet.”

I’m sure historians have searched endlessly for photographs of these gentlemen, so I know it is a long shot to find any photographs or paintings. But if there are any in existence, I would have to believe they would exist stored away in the attic of a south coast families home who has no idea that they are holding on to a piece of American history.

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