The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.
The President of the United States, in the name of the United States Congress, has awarded 1,510 Medals of Honor to the nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen since the Spanish American War in 1898.
During this same time period (1898- present) 39,408,681 men and women have served in wars of the United States of America.
Seaman Herbert Louis Foss, USN was one of the few recipients of the Medal of Honor. Seaman Foss joined the United States Navy in January 1897. He served as a seaman on the light cruiser USS Marblehead. On May 11, 1898 during combat off the north west coast of Cuba, the crew of the USS Marblehead pulled the main communications cable over the bow of their boat. Despite being under heavy fire, they severed the cable. Foss finished the job with a hacksaw. The crew suffered many casualties however they accomplished their mission of disrupting communications between Cuba and Spain.
After the war Foss moved to Hingham and worked at the Hingham Ammunition Depot. He became the superintendent of the Fort Hill Cemetery and on September 1, 1937, while working at the cemetery he died of heart problems. He is buried at the Fort Hill Cemetery.