Well it is not much of a stretch to say that we've been everywhere man. I am referring of course to Canadian sailors who went off to war with the US and fought at the famous battles of the Monitor and the Merrimack and the Alabama and the Kearsarge. They were at the sinking of the Merrimac and at the well known Forts Fisher and Morgan battles and at Forts Henry and Donolson and dozens more throughout the Civil War, the Philippines and in the Spanish American War. Heck we even sailed on several US warships during the Mexican War.
In fact, we were on the most famous vessel of all..."Old Ironsides" that was named... the USS Constitution way back in 1797 and got its name from a fellow named George Washington. That ship is still afloat today and is the oldest naval vessel still plying the oceans carrying the good will of the US people to many a strange port. Our men in uniform have sailed into harm's way on over 3 dozen US vessels. A few have even been named after them.
In 1934 the ship was going so strong that it was sent on a goodwill tour to some 90 ports in the US over a 3 yr cruise. Had it not been in for repairs she would have participated in the 100th anniversary of the US but instead it was sent off to France when the job was done in order to carry US Exhibits to the Paris Exposition of 1878. One of the crewmen was a Canadian, of unknown age or place of birth, but still a Canadian who would play a major role while at France.
While docking at LeHave she collided with another vessel which saw her tied up for repairs. In mid January she would head off on the return voyage to North America. But at Bollard Head she would run aground. She had to be towed into a London dry dock for yet more repairs.
Out to sea again for the return voyage she got caught up in a dreadful gale which completely took out her steering system. The only way to repair it was to lower three men down to try an effect temporary repairs, but it was a very deadly mission with the vessel constantly rocking back and forth uncontrollably and with the massive rudder smashing against the hull of the ship. With temporary repairs done the vessel then had to headed into yet another drydock for proper work to get done. With a final departure in mid May she never got back to America till near the end of the month.
All three sailors were recommended for the Medal of Honor and Henry Wililams and the other two received their medals in 1880.
Like so many other stories of Medal of Honor recipients, little more is currently known about Williams. Much research is still needed.