FROM THE DETECTIVE’S LIBRARY: MCMAFIA
NYPD FORGOTTEN HISTORY:
THE NYPD's FIRST MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
Thanks to the “unofficial” NYPD Historian, Ret. Sgt. Mike Bosak, the following is presented regarding the department’s first recipient of the Medal of Honor.
The department did not award its first Medal of Honor until May 18, 1912 and it was awarded to Acting Detective Sergeant (today's rank of detective) Charles S. Carrao, Italian Squad for police action performed on the morning of September 15, 1911.
The 'Italian Squad' worked out of Police Headquarters, 240 Centre Street and worked primarily on the 'Black Hand', an organized crime entity that preyed mostly on recently arrived Italian immigrants. (This was the squad that was commanded by Lt. Joseph Petrosino, noted as the only member of this department to be killed in the line of duty on foreign soil.)
Detective Carrao confronted a "Black Hand" extortionist, who had just lit the fuse on an explosive device in the hallway of a tenement house located at 356 East 13th Street . Carrao then extinguished the fuse; gave chase, where shots were exchanged with the perp, and personally affected the arrest. This Black Hand extortionist had just four hours earlier ignited another bomb at 314 East 12th Street , causing extensive damage.
According to former Detective 1st Grade John Reilly (Now Deceased), this first NYPD "Medal of Honor" was designed by Tiffany & Co. and it was originally referred to as the "Department Medal." NYPD General Order # 19, dated April 22, 1915, authority of Police Commissioner Arthur Woods changed the name of this medal from the "Department Medal" to the "Department Medal of Honor."
New York City had it first police "Medal Day" on Saturday, May 26, 1855 in City Hall Park , when the "NYC Municipal Police Department" gave out seven (7) silver medals. "Chief of Police" George Matsell and Mayor Fernando Wood awarded six (6) of the solid silver medals for heroism and good arrests and one (1) silver medal for "meritorious service."
The first medal given out by the NYPD was awarded on August 17, 1871 and was for given for quote, unquote “meritorious conduct.” It was awarded to Patrolman Bernard Tully of the 19 Precinct (today's 17th Precinct) for the arrest of a burglar with one shot fired. And that was the only medal that the NYPD awarded in 1871.
Thanks once again to Mike Bosak for all he continues to do in maintaining the history of this department!
“LEST WE FORGET”… NYPD Memorial
“It is not how they died that makes them a hero, but how they lived their lives”.
June 17, 1912 Ptl Thomas O’Connell, 29 Pct (17Pct), Water rescue
June 17, 1923 Ptl Cornelius Platt, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident
June 17, 1973 PO Ralph Stanchi, 32 Pct, Shot-investigation
June 18, 1932 Ptl Joseph Burke, 32 Pct, Shot- Robbery in progress
June 19, 1917 Ptl Samuel Cunningham, 42 Pct, Shot- GLA arrest
June 19, 1980 PO Joseph Keegan, TD1, Shot- investigation
June 26, 1918 Ptl Joseph Nolan, 22 Pct, Assaulted with brick
June 26, 1930 Ptl Wilson Fields, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 26, 1937 Ptl George Mahnken, Mcy Unit, Motorcycle accident
June 26, 1977 Det Henry McDevitt, 48 Pct, Assaulted
June 28, 1927 Ptl Andrew Grennan, 46 Pct, Drowned during rescue
June 28, 1931 Det William DeGive, MODD, Shot during GLA Arrest
June 28, 1963 Ptl. William Baumfield, 4 Div, Shot-Robbery
June 28, 1972 PO John Skagen, TD2, Shot chasing felon
June 28, 1986 PO Scott Gadell, 101 Pct, Shot during investigation
July 1, 1911 Ptl Michael Lynch, 22 Pct, Shot by perp
July 2, 1922 Det John Moriarty, Det Div, Shot:Robbery in progress
July 2, 1970 Ptl Paul Donadio, 75 Pct, Patrolwagon accident on patrol
July 3, 1857 Ptl Thomas Sparks, No info available
July 3, 1917 Ptl John Flood, 31 Pct, Assaulted
July 3, 1966 Ptl Willie Stephenson, HAPD, Drowned during rescue
July 4, 1940 Det Joseph Lynch, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1940 Det Ferdinand Socha, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1993 PO Rudolph Thomas, PSA3, Shot:Off duty