Alexander Parker was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1832 and immigrated to the United States when he was 11-years old, arriving at New York on November 1, 1843.  He dedicated most of his life to military service, never marrying, and served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy for 47-years.  Historical records report he became a naturalized citizen and when voter registration became necessary, he registered in 1867 in California as a Foreign-Born Voter. 

By July 25, 1876, Parker was serving as a boatswain mate on the cruiser USS Portsmouth and on that date the ship was at Marie Island Naval Shipyard in California.  When a shipmate fell into the water, Parker leaped overboard in an attempt to safe his shipmate from drowning.  Historical records fail to reveal whether he was successful, but records report Parker was awarded a Peacetime Medal of Honor on August 9, 1876, for his “gallant conduct in attempting to save a shipmate from drowning.”

Parker retired from the Navy on April 4, 1900, and died a few months later on October 2, 1900.  He is buried at the Mare Island Naval  Cemetery in Vallejo, California, in section D, row 13, plot 059.

Submitted by CDR Roy A. Mosteller, USNR (Ret)