Return Otto D Schmidt's Medal of Honor to its Rightful Home
Otto Diller Schmidt was born in Blair, Nebraska in 1884. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1901 along with a few of his friends. He was just 17 days from completing his tour of duty when disaster struck on board the ship he was stationed on, the USS Bennington. The Bennington was preparing to leave port, when its boiler exploded. Schmidt, and 10 others, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their efforts in rescuing fellow sailors.
After leaving the US Navy in 1906, he returned home to Blair, Nebraska until he moved to Norlfok, Nebraska just a few months later in 1907. In 1922, he was appointed a Mail carrier in Norfolk and worked there until retirement in 1948, and he moved back to Blair and into a retirement home a few years after.
On February 9th 1963, Otto Diller Schmidt passed away at Crowel Memorial Home in his hometown of Blair, Nebraska. He was buried at the Norfolk cemetery, and was joined there by his only son in 1987.
After his sons passing, Schmidt's Medal of Honor was donated to the Elkorn Valley Historical Society where it remains today. The purpose of this petition is to try and get his Medal of Honor back to Blair, NE, and the Washington County Historical Association. The fact that Otto Diller Schmidt was born, raised, and chose to live out the end of his life in Blair, demonstrates that this is where he felt most at home. I, and many others, feel as though the Medal of Honor should be returned to Blair so that it can be displayed and so that Schmidt's story may be told properly. Thank you