Captain of the Top, USS Swatara, U.S. Navy. Awarded for actions at Para, Brazil.
December 01, 1875
Born in 1851 in Massachusetts, Deneef joined the Navy as an apprentice boy. As captain of the top on the USS Swatara, he jumped overboard to rescue a shipmate who was drowning when the ship’s dinghy began to sink.
Citation: On board the USS Swatara at Para, Brazil, 1 December 1875. Displaying gallant conduct, Deneef jumped overboard and rescued one of the crew of that vessel from drowning.