Tedford Harris Cann
Ensign,United States Navy
at Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 3, 1897, he earned the while serving aboard the USS May on November 5, 1917.
He died on January 26, 1967 and was buried
in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Courtesy of the United States Navy:
Tedford H. Cann was born on 3 September 1896. He served in the Navy's Reserve Force during World War I, initially as a seaman. On 5 November 1917, while he was a member of the crew of the patrol vessel May (SP-164), Seaman Cann courageously worked in a flooded compartment, locating and closing a leak that endangered his ship. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this act.
In April 1918, Cann was commissioned as an Ensign in the Reserve Force, continuing to serve in USS May into July. He spent the rest of World War I as an officer in USS Noma (SP-131) and apparently left the service shortly after the conflict's end.
CANN, TEDFORD H.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 3 September 1897, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 366, 1918.
For courageous conduct while serving on board
the U.S.S. May, 5 November 1917. Cann found a leak in a flooded compartment
and closed it at the peril of his life, thereby unquestionably saving the
TELLS HOW CANN WON MEDAL OF HONOR
New York Athlete Twice Risked His Life To Save Warship From Going Down
WASHINGTON, February 23, 1918 - Details of the acts of bravery for which Seaman Tedford H. Cann, Naval Reserve Force has received the Navy's much-prized Medal of Honor and gratituities of $100 each were made public tonight by the Secretary of the Navy Daniels in a general order to the service. Cann, who is a well-known New York athlete, 500-yard swimming champion of America, and a son of of Physical Director of the New York University, is the first reservist to win the medal. When the USS May was almost swamped by a leak last November, Cann volunteered to enter the biltge flooded with eight feet of water to close the opening in a pipe connection to the sea, returned to the hatch for pieces of cork, and going back into the bilge, stopped the leak, saving the ship.
TEDFORD H. CANN TO MARRY
New York Athletic Club Swimmer to Wed Miss Power on November 23
NEW YORK, November 20, 1923 – The marriage
of Miss Margaret Power, daughter of J. J. Power of 2284 Loring Place, and
Tedford H. Cann, widely known as “Teddy” Cann for his prowess as a swimmer,
will take place on November 23. Mr. Cann, who is a member of the
New York Athletic Club’s water polo team and relay team, has won many swimming
championships. During the war, while serving on the submarine chaser
May, he volunteered to swim down into the bilges to repair a leak that
threatened the vessel. He received the Medal of Honor and Italian
War Cross for his bravery. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cann
on this city.
PORT CHESTER, New York, January 26, 1963 - The first winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I, Tedford Cann, died today in United Hospital here.
Cann was decorated for heroism in saving a sinking ship and its crew in the Atlantic Ocean on November 5, 1917, by diving into the flooded hold and plugging the leak which threatened the vessel.
The exploit, which won him the Nation's highest military decoration, was performed while he was a Naval Reserve Seaman assigned to a yacht converted for war duty.
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins
CANN, TEDFORD H
CANN, MARGUERITE M
Photo By: M. R. Patterson, October 2007