Turpin was aboard the gunboat Bennington in 1905 when a boiler exploded, killing 62 men. Eleven men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the disaster but Turpin was not among them, although it is reported he saved a number of crew members by swimming them to shore.
Turpin is likely the only person to have been in both naval explosions.
|Kathryn Turpin (third from left)|
Turpin was the Navy boxing champion in several weight classes during his service career, and taught boxing at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. He retired from the Navy in 1925.
Turpin died March 10, 1962 in Bremerton at the age of 85. He was cremated with his ashes scattered at sea.