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All Posts, Military History

Author Guest Post: Ryan C Walker

Henry Breault Medal of Honor Centennial, March 8, 2024, Proclamations, Resolutions, Events, & Other Rememberances

March 8, 2024, marked Henry Breault’s Medal of Honor Centennial. I remembered thinking as I did an assignment for my MA, 2023 and 2024 are not far away. To prepare for the event, I wrote to 124 organizations and individuals on the subject, and I would like to acknowledge them taking the time to remember an hero, in no particular order. I am not vain enough to claim every post was a direct result of my enquiries, but I would like to think I helped bring this Centennial to many people’s attention in a timely enough manner they could remember Breault’s heroism.

I consider my book to be a memorial to Breault. It was the least I could do to a fellow submariner who gave so many years of his life in service to the USN, and I hope the book offers more insight onto who he was, perhaps sparking more interest whenever possible, so that 100 years later, we remember.

USN Basic Enlisted Submarine School

In 2015 I attended my own Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) Graduation as a member of the USS Topeka Class. I still have my certificate. When I was invited to share Breault’s biography, it was a dream come true. In the background you can see the primary Guest Speaker RADM (ret.) Arnold Lotring speaking to two graduates of the class. Lotring was among the first in the USN to recognize Breault’s heroism and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him.

The USN graduated the TM2 Henry Breault BESS class on March 8, 2024. They had an impressive ceremony at the Dealey Centre on base. Generally, classes are named after ships, but this class was named to honor Breault. Several personages were important along with the family members of the graduates and United States Submarine Veterans Inc (USSVI). Bravo Zulu, and good luck in your next commands shipmates!

VT Representative Michael Morgan & the VT State Legislature

I reached out to the honourable VT State Representative, and he drafted a resolution honouring Breault. Breault’s Medal of Honor is credited to VT as his home of record was in Morgan’s district, the town of Grand Isle, VT. (https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/single/2024/34693). Morgan, himself a veteran, immediately recognized the importance of the centennial and drafted a VT Resolution. I have visited VT several times, and I am glad to report the hospitality of the people of VT matches the beauty of the landscape. Thank you to all who attended the resolution!

CT Senator Richard Blumenthal’s & His Office

I reached out to CT Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office and was put in contact with his Veteran and Military Affairs Outreach Liaison, Daniel Reilly. Reilly was of great assistance throughout. On their own initiative, Blumenthal wrote a proclamation, which was read by Reilly at the aforementioned BESS graduation.

CT Governor Ned Lamont & His Office

Governor Ned Lamont (Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont) wrote a proclamation at my request, which will be gifted to USSVI’s Groton chapter’s Joe Negri Clubhouse. I did not have any personal connection with Lamont, but I appreciate the proclamation!

Mike France

Local Leader Mike France, who is also a retired USN officer, has been a part of my research journey since I was a graduate student. An expert Genealogist, his genealogy report is often cited throughout my book. He personally attended my presentations and took pictures of me, offering his support for Breault and myself.

Aspinock Historical Society

Breault was born in Putnam and is buried there in St. Mary’s Cemetery. (Aspinock Historical Society of Putnam Inc. – Home Page (putnamaspinockhistsoc.com)) I reached out to the local historical society, the Aspinock Historical Society. The Vice President, Jeannie Benoit, reached out and invited me to speak on March 9, 2024, to share the story of the local hero. It was a lovely time and I hope to have a book signing in Putnam as soon as the book is released!

Groton USSVI

The Groton Subvets were in force at the BESS graduation and offered their support. Special thanks to Steve Ricard who drove me on to base! (Submarine | U.s. Submarines Veterans Groton | Groton (ussvigroton.org)). I appreciate the support! I will be speaking at the Holland Club Luncheon on April 16 to continue sharing his story!

Green Mountain Base USSVI

The Green Mountain Base USSVI members in VT showed up in force for the resolution and invited members of the Thresher Base from Kittery to attend as well. Special thanks to Bill Mattoon for organizing so many people to attend the resolution on March 15! I was glad to see them recognized too. (Then Again: A submariner’s bravery earned him the nation’s highest honor – VTDigger)

Submarine Force Library & Museum

Executive Director Kathy Lotring and Archivist Wendy Gulley were present at the BESS graduation and continue on the research of Breault! As the SFLM was the start of my research journey, I hope to do my very first book signing onsite! (https://ussnautilus.org/)

USS Silversides Museum, Muskegon, MI

I reached out to the Silversides and Museum Coordinator Teresa Folkmier reached out and invited me to the Silversides Torpedo Talks series on March 7, 2024. I cannot wait to visit the lovely museum in MI, hopefully for a book signing or future presentations!( USS Silversides Museum: Reliving Naval History. WW2 Submarine Museum)

Windham County Chamber of Commerce

President & CEO Diane Nadeau invited me to speak at a Veteran’s Coffehouse event. It was excellent to see so many fellow veterans of all branches who appreciated hearing Breault’s story. I hope to go back soon, hopefully for a book signing! (Home (windhamchamber.com))

Naval Submarine League

The Naval Submarine League was founded in 1982 to provide a means for Submarine Force leadership to share their vision and direction with the American people, so they could be aware of the need for a strong undersea arm of the U.S. Navy. I was so impressed by their commitment to Breault’s story before I reached out that I immediately became a member. Executive Director Tim Oliver sent an update newsletter out with my event in Putnam. (https://www.navalsubleague.org/)

American Submariner Magazine & the Sub Committee Review

Editors Chuck Senior and Jeff Porteous took an article I wrote on Breault and made it accessible to all in two magazines! They were also in attendance for the Silversides Talk over Zoom! Thanks to their assistance, I hope to publish more on the small aspects of my research. (American Submariner Magazine – Visitors – United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (ussvi.org))

West Haven Veteran’s Home:

Henry Breault is now a part of the West Haven Veteran’s Home Wall of Honor (he is slide number 30). I reached out and they were excited to offer support for this CT veteran! Wall Of Honor – West Haven Veterans Museum (whmilmuseum.org) Thank you!

US Navy Undersea Museum

The museum took the time to reply to me and post to its followers on March 8. (Home – U. S. Naval Undersea Museum). Can’t wait to visit the museum!

War History Online

I was happy to submit a guest writer post and they published it! Thank you for helping me get his story out there! (https://www.warhistoryonline.com/ships/henry-breault.html)


For those who might be interested in my book, you can hear more about my upcoming book, The Silent Service’s First Hero, scheduled for publication in July, from my interview on Matthew DiBiase‘s The Packaged Tourist Show and on Gabriel Garcia‘s The Wandering Quill Podcast.

Thanks for having me Matthew and Gabriel! Thanks for having me and helping me share Breault’s story!

The Wandering Scribe Author interview: Former Submariner and Naval Historian Ryan C Walker.



To Everyone Who Took A Moment:

Finally, there are those who took initiative through no prompting on my apart that were aware of the story. There were numerous people who took the time to remember Breault that I have not mentioned, not out of neglect but due to ignorance. I should not let that ignorance or lack of personnel connection prevent me from expressing appreciation. Even if you only spent a second remembering or acknowledging Breault’s heroism: thank you!

Preorder your copy here.