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Oscar Jefferson Upham
January 14, 1871(1871-01-14) – February 14, 1949 (aged 78)
Place of birth Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Place of death Oklahoma, U.S.
Place of burial Summit View Cemetery Guthrie, Oklahoma
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Rank Private
Battles/wars Spanish American War
Boxer Rebellion
Awards Medal of Honor

Oscar Jefferson Upham (January 14, 1871 – February 14, 1949) was a Private serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Boxer Rebellion who was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery.

In addition to his service during the Boxer rebellion he also served in the Spanish American War, eventually retiring from the Marine Corps.



Upham was born January 14, 1871 in Toledo, Ohio and enlisted into the Marine Corps in 1896 at the age of 25 before the start of the Spanish American War. He was sent to Mare island, California and after being there for a year was ordered to sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Oregon. When the Spanish fleet tried to escape from the harbor at Santiago, Cuba on July 3, 1898 during the Spanish American war he was serving as a powder monkey for one of the six-inch guns on the Oregon's bridge.[1]

During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, he and his fellow Marines were erecting barricades in Peking, China, when the Chinese rebels surrounded the group and settled down for a three-month siege. A quotation from his diary, kept during the siege, reads: "We are holding out no hope for rescue and many do not give rescue a second thought."[1] He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this action — one of 33 Marines to win that award during the rebellion.[1][2][3] He received the Medal of Honor for his action in Peking, China from on July 21-August 17, 1900.[2][3]

He died February 14, 1949 in Guthrie, Oklahoma.[1]He is buried in Summit View Cemetery Guthrie, Oklahoma.[3]

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 14 January 1871, Toledo, Ohio. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901.


In the presence of the enemy at Peking, China, 21 July to 17 August 1900. Although under a heavy fire from the enemy during this period, Upham assisted in the erection of barricades.[2]

See also


External links



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