OLSEN, Ludwig, BM1c

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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
BM-0000-Boatswain's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Boatswain's Mate
Primary Unit
1880-1885, USS Lackawanna (1862)
Service Years
1870 - 1886
BM-Boatswain's Mate

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236 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember OLSEN, Ludwig (Louis Willams/MOHx2), PO1.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Oslo, Norway
Last Address
Olsen died on 20 February 1886 and is buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Section 6, Grave 12616, in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.

Date of Passing
Feb 20, 1886
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity

Ludwig Andreas Olsen
aka Louis Williams
U.S. Navy, rank of:
"Captain of the Hold"
Medal of Honor (x2)

Twice Honored
Oslo native Louis Williams, born Ludwig Andreas Olsen, is in the minority when it comes to the Medal of Honor recipients. He is one of only 19 men to have ever received the honor twice. No one has ever received more Medals of Honor.

Williams was serving as a Marine captain on the USS Lackawanna off of the coast of Honolulu in 1883 when a fellow seaman, Thomas Moran, fell overboard. Olsen dived into the water and saved Moran from drowning. One year later, Williams was serving off of the coast of Callao, Peru, when he again jumped overboard to save William Cruise after he fell off of the ship. On October 18, 1884, Williams was awarded two Medals of Honor for his brave acts.

Other Comments:
Olsen was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1845. He joined the Navy in California under the name Louis Williams. He eventually achieved the rank of Captain of the Hold, an enlisted position that placed him in charge of keeping order in the ship's hold. 

On 16 March 1883, aboard the screw sloop-of-war USS Lackawanna off Honolulu, Hawaii, Olsen jumped overboard and saved a fellow sailor from drowning. The next year, on 13 June 1884 off the coast of Callao, Peru, Olsen again saved a man from drowning. For each of these peace-time actions he was awarded a Medal of Honor. Both medals were presented to him on 18 October 1884, making Olsen one of only 19 people to receive two Medals of Honor and one of only 14 people to receive two Medals of Honor for two separate acts of heroism. Both medals were awarded under the name he had enlisted with, Louis Williams. 

Olsen's awards were for peace-time actions; it can be argued today he would now be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.  Olsen died on 20 February 1886 and is buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Section 6, Grave 12616, in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.

Medal of Honor

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First Citation:     
For jumping overboard from the U.S.S Lackawanna, 16 March 1883, at Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, and rescuing from drowning Thomas Moran, landsman. 

Second Citation:     
Serving on board the U.S.S. Lackawanna, Williams rescued from drowning William Cruise, who had fallen overboard at Callao, Peru, 13 June 1884. 

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US Navy
  1880-1885, USS Lackawanna (1862)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Ludwig A. Olsen, aka Louis Williams. Medal of Honor (twice)3
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