Tedford Harris Cann
Ensign,United States Navy
Connecticut State Flag
Born at Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 3, 1897, he earned the Medal of Honor 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:

TH Cann Photo - US Navy Photo

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.

 Webmaster: Michael Robert Pattterson



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.

Citation:

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 ship.



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.


TEDFORD CANN, WORLD WAR I SEA HERO, DIES

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.



Tedford H. Cann Gravesite PHOTO
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins

TH Cann Gravesite PHOTO
Photo courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs, March 2006

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson

CANN, TEDFORD H
ENSIGN   US NAVY
WORLD WAR I
DATE OF BIRTH: 09/03/1897
DATE OF DEATH: 01/26/1963
BURIED AT: SECTION 7  SITE 10118-SS
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

CANN, MARGUERITE M
DATE OF BIRTH: 09/04/1897
DATE OF DEATH: 03/31/1985
BURIED AT: SECTION 7  SITE 10118-SS
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY


Page Updated: 24 September 2000 Updated: 28 February 2002 Updated: 15 March 2003 Updated: 26 March 2006 Updated: 19 October 2007 Updated: 1 December 2007
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TH Cann Gravesite PHOTO October 2007
Photo By: M. R. Patterson, October 2007