Coxswain, USS Tigress, U.S. Navy. Awarded for actions off the coast of Greenland.
September 22, 1873
Born 1839 in Boston, MA. Received the Medal of Honor for his actions when an Arctic gale struck the ship during a search for the missing exploration ship Polaris. Willis volunteered to singlehandedly furl the loose topgallant sail to prevent damage to the ship.
Citation: Serving on board the USS Tigress, Willis displayed gallant and meritorious conduct on the night of 22 September 1873 off the coast of Greenland.