Chief Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Awarded for actions aboard the USS Remlik
December 17, 1917
MacKenzie was born July 7, 1886, Bridgeport, CT, and enlisted in the Navy at Springfield, MA, in December 1902. He had attained the rank of Coxswain by 1907, when he left the Navy to work in the growing automotive industry. He reenlisted in the Navy after the outbreak of World War I.
After the war, MacKenzie left the Navy and entered the restaurant business. He died at Holyoke, MA, on December 26, 1933. A large baseball complex in Holyoke is named in his bonor, and a plaque under the American flag in left field honors his deeds aboard the Remlik.
Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving on board the USS Remlik, on the morning of 17 December 1917, when the Remlik encountered a heavy gale. During this gale, there was a heavy sea running. The depth charge box on the taffrail aft, containing a Sperry depth charge, was washed overboard, the depth charge itself falling inboard and remaining on deck. MacKenzie, on his own initiative, went aft and sat down on the depth charge, as it was impracticable to carry it to safety until the ship was headed up into the sea. In acting as he did, MacKenzie exposed his life and prevented a serious accident to the ship and probable loss of the ship and the entire crew.