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    Description

    Large Archive Belonging to Captain Otto Dowling with Full Size Interwar U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Medal for Valor.
    Otto Dowling graduated from the US Naval Academy with the class of 1902 and served until 1944. He was a munitions and ordnance specialist, posted to various surface ships throughout his career including serving as the executive officer of the USS Ohio, Mississippi and New Jersey during WWI. In 1926 he was the commanding officer of the Munitions Depot at Lake Denmark NJ during the fire and explosion that devastated it as a result of a lightning strike. For his service during this incident he was awarded the US Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Captain Dowling was appointed the Governor of Samoa and served from 1935-36, retired from active duty 7/1/1937. He was recalled 12/16/40 and relieved of active duty 12/8/1944. Died 4/14/1946 and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

    The group consists of: (1) Full Size U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Medal awarded to Captain Dowling for service at the US Navy Munitions Depot at Lake Denmark New Jersey, struck by lightning July 10, 1926. As a result of the ensuing fire several million pounds of explosives detonated over a period of 2-3 days. The citation for the medal reads; "For exceptionally meritorious service and distinguished conduct in fearlessly exposing himself to danger at the time of the first explosion, and although injured, in devotedly remaining for ten hours at his post of duty in the hope of checking the spread of the disaster until he became temporarily blinded from injuries". The medal is as issued, unnamed, split brooch with fine original ribbon and in excellent condition. The US Navy Distinguished Service Medal was only awarded 9 times in the interwar period. (2) Philippine Campaign Cuban Pacification Medal, numbered "3580", split brooch, worn ribbon. (3) Cuban Pacification 1908 Medal, numbered "1304" split brooch, very good original ribbon. (4) Mexico 1911-1917 Medal, numbered "10203", very good original ribbon. (5) Victory Medal, lacking brooch. (6) American Campaign, American Defense, WWII Victory medals. (7) Miniature medal group with open catch German-silver mount in excellent condition. Miniature ribbon bar showing wear to the Victory medal. (8) Groups of full size ribbon bars. (9) Sterling Midshipman's hat insignia; (10) Thumb print Dog Tag dated 9/9/98; (11) Bound scrap book spanning the period from 1911 to 1935, 179 pages containing newspaper clippings, photographs and official documents, most note the location and date. Included is the official telegram announcing the crash of the USS Akron. This album measures 5.5" X 8.5" and is 2.75" thick. (12) Bound scrap book pertaining to the Lake Denmark disaster, containing numerous newspaper articles and photographs depicting the accident. This filled album measures 7.5" x 11.5" and is 4.5" thick. (13) Album, now unbound, approximately 125 pages spanning the 1920s-1930s containing mostly family photographs, quite a few of Captain Dowling in uniform, the Lake Denmark disaster and foreign locations. This album measures 10" x 14" and is 4" thick. (14) Large format studio portraits wearing full-dress uniform as a Lieutenant; (15) 1902 copy of the USN Academy graduation book "Lucky Bag", in which each graduate has signed his photo. Included in the lot are copies of Dowling's service records.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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