U.S. Coast Guard Awards


Coast Guard Medal
Award Citations, T-Z


TALBOT, John Phillip, Seaman, USCG

Date of Action:  25 July 1964
Date of Award:
  30 September 1965

For heroism on July 25, 1964, while serving at the Cape May Station, when he assisted in the rescue of two survivors of the stranded fishing boat, MARLIN, which was breaking up on the rocks of the Cape May Inlet West Jetty.  TALBOT, who was on authorized leave from the USCGC AGASSIZ (WSC-126), when advised of the accident, immediately proceeded to the inshore end of the jetty in his own car to attempt to render assistance. Despite the fact that waves were continually breaking over the jetty and that the footing was treacherous because of the moss on the rocks, TALBOT and another seaman made their way along the entire length of the west jetty to reach two survivors who were clinging to the rocks. Disregarding his own safety, TALBOT entered the turbulent water and brought a woman survivor to a position of relative safety.  Both seamen then entered the water and rescued the master of the MARLIN. Later, due to their perilous position on the rocks and the exhausted physical condition of the survivors, TALBOT and his companion each assisted a survivor in swimming a distance of approximately 100 yards through rough seas to the safety of a Coast Guard rescue boat, which was in the lee of the jetty. TALBOT demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger.  His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Bucci, Phillip R., DeMarco, Robert J., and Evans, Russell R.)


TANNER, John Richard, Engineman Second Class, USCG

Date of Action: 16 January 1968
Date of Award:  20 December 1968

For heroism on the morning of January 16, 1968 while serving as crew member of the CG-30532 engaged in suppressing a massive gasoline fire in the Houston Ship Channel approximately one and one-half miles southeast of the Baytown-LaPorte vehicular tunnel. The CG-30532 was diverted from a fire at the Shell Oil Refinery to assist in fighting the fires resulting from the collision of the Liberian freighter CHRISTIANE and three gasoline-laden barges in tow of the tug BARBARA WAXLER. Upon arrival on scene, personnel of the CG-30532 assisted in extinguishing the fire on one barge, which was laden with over 17,000 barrels of high octane gasoline, and when re-flash occurred, suppressed it. When it was noted that heavy vapors and gasoline fumes were emanating from a damaged hatch over the hot deck of the barge, Petty Officer TANNER, with total disregard for his own safety, voluntarily boarded the barge and assisted another Coastguardsman in opening the hatch cover and hauling a fire hose aboard to fill the open compartment with foam in order to reduce the danger of additional re-flash or explosion. This action resulted in the final extinguishing of the fire and in safeguarding the boats and personnel surrounding the barge. Petty Officer TANNER demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger during the entire operation. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United Sates Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Goodspeed, Walter L.)


Taylor, Dale T., Lieutenant, USCG

Date of Action:  9 December 2003
Date of Award:
  12 March 2004

Lieutenant TAYLOR is cited for heroism on 9 December 2003 while serving as aircraft commander of HH-65B helicopter CG 6523 during the rescue of two survivors from the S/V JA'DA, located 47 nautical miles south of Key West, Florida. Launching from Naval Air Station Key West, the crew encountered 45-knot winds and 15-foot seas exacerbated by heavy rainsqualls. Lieutenant TAYLOR flew to the last known position of the distressed vessel and located the 27-foot sailboat helplessly adrift and violently pitching and rolling in the heavy seas. Unable to establish communications, the crew delivered a hand-held radio, by which--in broken English--the two survivors revealed they were sinking and pleaded to be rescued from their vessel. Despite numerous hoist attempts, the sailing vessel's instability and rigging precluded any type of basket hoist. Confronted with a sinking boat and no other reasonable rescue alternative, Lieutenant TAYLOR recommended to the survivors to enter the water for rescue basket recovery. After the successful hoist of one survivor, the second survivor's flotation device was swept away by the wind-whipped waves. Overcome by fatigue and unable to climb into the rescue basket or return to the sailing vessel, it was evident this 81-year-old survivor would surely drown in the crashing waves. With no rescue swimmer aboard, Lieutenant TAYLOR determined to rescue the otherwise vanquished survivor, quickly but methodically briefed his crew of his intent to vacate the copilot's seat and to be hoisted into the tumultuous seas. Lieutenant TAYLOR, fighting heavy seas to remain afloat, reached the remaining survivor just as he was going under the surface. Despite jeopardizing his own safety, Lieutenant TAYLOR grabbed the victim and with all his remaining strength, swam to the basket and lifted the exhausted survivor to safety shortly before the survivor would have surely succumbed to the seas. Only after this last survivor was safely aboard the helicopter was Lieutenant TAYLOR hoisted aboard. Lieutenant TAYLOR demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and bravery in spite of imminent personal danger during the rescue of two survivors from the S/V JA'DA. His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.


TERRELL, Bruce W., Boatswain’s Mate Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  04 July 1980
Date of Award:
  02 February 1981

Petty Officer TERRELL is cited for heroism on the morning of 4 July 1980 while serving as a crewmember of SRB-30201 from Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay, Oregon.  During this period he assisted in the rescue of 4 men from a capsized small pleasure craft in turbulent surf in the entrance to Tillamook Bay.  The boat had dashed around the tip of the north entrance jetty, directly into the path of a 15 to 18-foot breaking sea.  The boat capsized.  Two of the four occupants were hurled through the windshield before being thrown into the turbulent sea.  A more maneuverable MLB, positioned just behind the capsized boat, was directed to attempt to make the pickup.  As the MLB approached to pick up the survivors who were just 50 to 75 feet from the tip of the jetty, the SRB was maneuvered to seaward where the coxswain placed it broadside to the other rescue boat and the people in the water.  Throughout this period the SRB was in constant danger of being capsized and swept through the thundering surf and onto the rocks of the jetty where there would be little chance of crew survival.  While the coxswain’s attention was centered on the MLB, Petty Officer TERRELL continually kept him advised of the timing and size of the incoming breakers to enable him to maneuver the SRB at the precise instant to knock down the breaker before it reached the MLB.  Despite the incessant pounding of the breakers, the SRB maintained its position until the four victims were rescued.  Petty Officer TERRELL demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger during this rescue.  His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Harshfield, Richard A [1st award], Johnson, Robert W., Larue, Joe S., Michael, William R., and Smith, Stephen R.)


THARRINGTON, T.S., Chief Machinery Technician, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  21 October 1982
Date of Award:  24 May 1983

Citation not on file.


THOMAS, Michael P., Aviation Survivalman Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  27-28 June 1995
Date of Award:  26 May 1996

Petty Officer THOMAS is cited for heroism on 27-28 June 1995 while serving as Rescue Swimmer aboard Coast Guard HH-60J, CGNR 6019 during the daring rescues of seven people near Madison, Virginia.  A frail 94 year old woman and four others were trapped by raging currents engulfing their two vehicles.  With land rescue teams unable to reach them, the victims were in imminent danger of being swept away. Faced with a rescue for which be [sic] (he) had neither training nor experience, Petty Officer THOMAS quickly came up with a plan of action and volunteered to deploy.  Because overhanging foliage made it impossible to hoist them directly to their vehicles, he deployed directly into the raging current.  While keeping clear of large debris rushing by, he used his fins to steer through the water and worked his way toward the victims.  Simultaneously, Petty Officer THOMAS provided conning commands to the pilot and hoist operator, neither of whom could see him.  Despite the numerous hazards and the requirement to keep one hand on his radio, Petty Officer THOMAS successfully rescued each of the five victims.  Exhausted from the ordeal, he was called upon only moments later to rescue two 11 year old boys clinging to a tree trunk in the flood waters.  To reach the frightened victims, he was forced to pull himself into the trees, then back out with the boys in his arms, knowing that if the boys stripped from his grasp they would be swept away and drowned.  Petty Officer THOMAS demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in these rescues.  His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

(LCDR Bruce C. Jones, USCG, received the Air Medal for his role in this rescue)


THOMPSON, Lee E., Boatswain’s Mate Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  27 March 1975
Date of Award:  19 May 1975

Petty Officer THOMPSON is cited for heroism on the morning of 27 March 1975 while on authorized liberty from Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Detroit, Michigan, when he rescued two small children and assisted two adults to safety from a raging fire which swept through a two-story apartment on a military installation. Petty Officer THOMPSON, a resident of the apartment complex, was enroute to work when he saw smoke, rushed to the scene, and quickly broke open the door to gain entrance. At this time, another resident of the apartment complex was attracted by the smoke and joined Petty Officer THOMPSON in entering the building to search for the occupants. The smoke and heat conditions were so intolerable that the two rescuers were forced to crawl upon entering as they made their way toward the living room where children were heard crying. They found a little girl, age 2, on the sofa and carried her outside to safety. Upon their return, the intense heat and smoke made reentry impossible. Undaunted, Petty Officer THOMPSON and his companion immediately proceeded to the rear door of the apartment, broke in, and after arduous personal exposure to the fire, located a 3-year old boy and carried him to safety. As the two men attempted to search the second floor, they were driven back by the intense heat and smoke. Emerging form the burning building, they observed a man hanging from the ledge of the second floor window; yelled to him to jump, and when he did, broke his fall. Shortly thereafter, a woman appeared at the window and although at first very apprehensive of jumping, was strongly urged and finally jumped and was caught by the rescuers. By this time, flames coming from the windows and doors precluded further rescue efforts. Petty Officer THOMPSON demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


TILTON, Donald Otto, Lieutenant, USCG

Date of Action:  30-31 December 1969
Date of Award:  21 July 1971

Lieutenant TILTON is cited for heroic conduct during the period 30 to 31 December 1969 while serving as Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Base, South Portland and as on-scene commander during fire fighting operations for the gasoline-laden coastal tanker DEAN REINAUER in Portland Harbor, Maine. Though he was not on duty when he learned of the fire, Lieutenant TILTON immediately returned to the base, boarded the USCGC YANKTON [WYTM-72], and assumed command responsibilities for all the Coast Guard units which were assisting the fire fighting effort.  When directed to have the tanker towed out of the heavily congested petroleum terminal of the inner harbor to an anchorage areas, Lieutenant TILTON led a boarding party onto the burning vessel and succeeded in dropping the anchor, despite the imminent danger from the series of violent explosions which occurred while he and his men were aboard.  After departing the flaming tanker, he continued his command responsibilities until relieved by a senior Coast Guard officer. Lieutenant TILTON's exceptional ability and dedication in directing the efforts of Coast Guard units and other assisting vessels during this dangerous operation contributed significantly to preventing further loss of life and property. Lieutenant TILTON’s outstanding initiative, leadership, heroic perseverance, and unwavering devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Warnat, Ulrich R. and Warren, Edward A.)


TOAVS, Ina J., Seaman, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  13 April 1979
Date of Award:  21 June 1979

Seaman TOAVS is cited for extraordinary heroism on the night of 13 April 1979 when she assisted in the rescue of an unconscious fisherman from the surf at Bird Rock, Bodega Bay, California. The fishing vessel CAMMELEA had grounded in 8 to 10-foot seas with 25-knot winds pounding her hard against the rocks near Bird Rock. Earlier, Seaman TOAVS and a shipmate from Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay had used a Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department 16-foot Boston Whaler to deliver an interpreter to Bird Rock in an effort to communicate with the fishermen on board CAMMELEA, and had then taken up a position offshore with a Coast Guard motor lifeboat. Upon notification by a Sheriff’s Department heli-copter than one of the fishermen had been washed overboard and was afloat near the northern tip of Bird Rock, Seaman TOAVS immediately, and with complete disregard for her own safety, assisted in man-euvering the Boston Whaler into the heavy surf to rescue the helpless man. When the helicopter was forced to land before reaching the man, Seaman TOAVS, without hesitation, continued to assist in maneuvering among the rocks with only a flashlight to illuminate the area until the man was sighted. The Boston Whaler was then brought alongside the victim so that Seaman TOAVS could pull him aboard. With the unconscious man safely on board, the rescue craft was taken back through the rocks toward open water. Once clear of the rocks, Seaman TOAVS took over the helm while her shipmate commenced cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on the fisherman. While still in heavy seas, the engine of the Boston Whaler died, requiring the Coast Guard motor lifeboat to take it in tow. Just prior to entering the jetty at Bodega Bay, the engine was restarted and Seaman TOAVS piloted the Boston Whaler to Station Bodega Bay where the victim was transferred to paramedics. Seaman TOAVS demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. Her unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon herself and the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Eckroth, Mark L.)


TRAHAN, Leo J., Machinery Technician Second Class

Date of Action:  16 September 1990
Date of Award:  07 November 1991

Petty Officer TRAHAN is cited for heroism on the morning of 16 September 1990 while participating in the rescue of crewmembers from the tank vessel JUPITER which caught fire and exploded.  The JUPITER had been off-loading gasoline at the Total Petroleum Terminal dock on the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan when it caught fire, turning one million gallons of gasoline onboard into a raging inferno.  Petty Officer TRAHAN was dispatched as an engineer of a Coast Guard Utility Boat (UTB).  After arriving on scene, Petty Officer TRAHAN observed that the forward portion of the ship was engulfed in flames and a large segment of deck was peeled back.  Explosions continued to rip the main deck apart and sprayed shrapnel and burning gasoline into the air.  As the UTB was maneuvered to within 15 feet of the burning tank vessel, Petty Officer TRAHAN, manned the fire monitor on the bow.  When JUPITER crewmembers began abandoning ship, the UTB was cautiously maneuvered to within ten feet of the burning tanker.  Petty Officer TRAHAN, without regard for his own safety, worked to recover seven survivors from the debris-strewn water.  He then assisted in other rescue efforts resulting in the successful rescue of 16 of JUPITER's 17 crewmembers.  Petty Officer TRAHAN demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Huffman, James B. and Klaczklewicz, Michael.  A Gold Lifesaving Medal was awarded to Jean L. Colby, USCG Auxiliary, for her role in this rescue).


TRAUB, David Gerald, Engineman Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  11 April 1972
Date of Award:  20 June 1972

Petty Officer TRAUB is cited for heroism on the afternoon of 11 April 1972 while serving as a member of the precommissioning detail at the United States Coast Guard Patrol Coquille River, Bandon, Oregon, when he assisted in the rescue of two survivors from the fishing vessel EVA-JACK which capsized crossing the bar throwing her five occupants into the 52-degree water. One woman passenger with her dog boarded a rapidly deflating raft, while the four men remained on the hull, which was awash. Upon sighting the accident, and aware that the vessel was sinking, Petty Officer TRAUB immediately proceeded to the boat basin; alerted the fishing vessels SELMA and HALCO, and volunteered as a crew member of the SELMA. The boats were maneuvered on-scene in the turbulent waters near the capsized hull of the EVA-JACK, which sank shortly after the four men were rescued. During the recovery of one survivor, the rescuer lost his balance and fell over the stern of the SELMA. Petty Officer TRAUB quickly grasped the man by the ankles and assisted him and the survivor aboard the boat. When the victim frantically advised that a woman was adrift in the area on a sinking life raft, Petty Officer TRAUB searched, sighted her approximately a mile away, and directed the SELMA to her position. However, as the vessel was unable to maneuver close to the woman, Petty Officer TRAUB, without hesitation, secured a line from the deck and dived into the water. He grasped the woman, who was still holding her dog, reaching her as she was sinking with only one hand visible above the water, brought her back to the SELMA, and assisted in treating the two victims for shock while enroute to shore. Petty Officer TRAUB demonstrated unusual initiative, exceptional fortitude, and heroic daring in spite of imminent personal danger during the entire mission.  His unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


TRUPPA, Christopher P., Boatswain’s Mate Second Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  05 January 1980
Date of Award:  29 April 1980

Citation not on file.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Greer, Matthew C., Langstaff, Eric M., Quinn, Daryl G., and White, Robert M.)


TUREK, William B., Lieutenant Commander, USCG (Posthumous award)

Date of Action:  03 March 1993
Date of Award:  08 July 1994

Citation not on file.

Description of incident that led to the award:

Lieutenant Commander William B. Turek, a marine inspector assigned to MSO Hampton Roads, gave his life in the line of duty on 3 March 1993 while inspecting the M/V Cape Diamond.  During a test of the ship's carbon dioxide extinguishing system a release of a significant amount of CO2 imperiled the crew stationed in the engine room.  Lieutenant Commander Turek gave his life in attempting to warn those men of the CO2 release. 


TWIDWELL, Jeffrey Forth, Fireman, USCG

Date of Action:  12 July 1968
Date of Award:  16 May 1969

For heroism on the afternoon of 12 July 1968 while serving as engineer on board the CG-40563 engaged in the rescue of two persons stranded on the rocks of Grays Harbor entrance, Westport, Washington. The CG-40563 maneuvered in as close as possible to the victims, but all attempts to reach the persons were thwarted by 6-foot seas . Fireman TWIDWELL voluntarily donned a wet suit and, equipped with two life jackets and a life ring, entered the water to assist. Despite a large wave which slammed him against the rocks causing him to lose hold on the line, he persevered and located the man and his wife, who were nearly exhausted. Calmly taking charge, he helped and reassured them while awaiting further assistance from a Coast Guard helicopter. Although the victims were torn apart several times by waves that violently tossed them from the rocks, Fireman TWIDWELL successfully recovered the victims each time and brought them back.  Minutes before the helicopter arrived, a large swell broke carrying the woman away from the rock. Fireman TWIDWELL quickly retrieved her, and with one hand brought her back to the rock while simultaneously grabbing the man with the other hand and pulling him back.  As the next swell broke, Fireman TWIDWELL managed to get the woman into the rescue basket. While she was being hoisted to safety, the man was separated.  Fireman TWIDWELL quickly swam after him, brought him back, helped him into the basket, and then saw him hoisted to safety.  Fireman TWIDSELL demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and courage in spite of imminent personal danger.  His unselfish action and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


UNDERWOOD, Michael L., Boatswain's Mate Third Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)  

Date of Action:  19 January 1996
Date of Award:  09 February 1996

Petty Officer UNDERWOOD is cited for extraordinary heroism on the afternoon of 19 January 1996 while serving as Duty Coxswain of motor lifeboat 44352 during the rescue of six crewmen from the tug SCANDIA, which had caught fire off Point Judith, Rhode Island during a fierce winter storm.  The motor lifeboat dispatched from Station Point Judith and arrived on scene to find the six crewmen had retreated to the bow to escape the fire, which had engulfed the vessel.  Petty Officer UNDERWOOD called upon all his skills as a coxswain to hold his position in 20-30 foot seas, winds of more than 50 knots, and zero visibility.  After rescuing one crewman, an explosion rocked the vessel, blowing out the pilothouse windows and sending the remaining five crewmen into the 32-degree water.  Petty Officer UNDERWOOD deployed the rescue swimmer and expertly maneuvered to retrieve the survivors.  After returning to Station Point Judith to get the hypothermic rescue swimmer to medical care, he volunteered to get underway again with two of the tug's crewmen in a bold attempt to anchor the barge carrying four million gallons of oil.  In these horrific conditions, Petty Officer UNDERWOOD was able to get the two crewmen onto the barge in a last-ditch effort to set its emergency anchor.  When they did not succeed, he was able to retrieve one crewman before being forced by darkness and worsening conditions to stand off.  The remaining crewman was subsequently rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.  Petty Officer UNDERWOOD demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  His courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Cravey, Adam D.)


VAN LOBEN SELS, Frederick William, Seaman Apprentice, USCG

Date of Action:  12 June 1966
Date of Award:  20 October 1966

For heroism on the afternoon of June 12, 1966 when he attempted to rescue two children from the treacherous surf, three miles south of Westport, Washington, near Twin Harbor State Park.  VAN LOBEN SELS was at the beach on authorized liberty from the USCGC NORTHWIND (WAGB-362) when advised that the children had been swept to sea.  Disregarding the six to eight foot breakers, unusual tidal curents and severe undertow, he immediately entered the turbulent surf in an attempt to rescue the children.  When he realized that further rescue efforts would be futile, VAN LOBEN SELS turned towards shore.  Fighting to stay on top of the water, he was subsequently picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter.  VAN LOBEN SELS demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger.  His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Sauer, Dennis W.)


VAN NEVEL, Gary Francis, Lieutenant, USCGR

Date of Action:  25 February 1968
Date of Award:  05 November 1968

For heroism on the afternoon of February 25, 1968, while serving as copilot of a Coast Guard HH-52A helicopter engaged in the perilous rescue of a 23-year old unconscious woman from the waters of Potato Patch Shoals off Point Bonita, California. Three survivors attempting to stay afloat amid heavy swells and breakers were sighted in the vicinity of the debris of a capsized motorboat. Observing one of the persons floating motionless face down in the water, Lieutenant VAN NEVEL inflated his life vest, quickly donned the helicopter sling, and with the aircraft in a low hover, plunged into the sea and swam toward the unconscious woman. While handicapped by a male survivor who swam to him and grasped hold, Lieutenant VAN NEVEL reached the woman and clasped her, raising the head out of the water. He was then towed, along with the two survivors, back to the helicopter where he assisted in getting them through the hatch of the aircraft. Lieutenant VAN NEVEL immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the unconscious patient, who had no sign of life, and successfully restored her natural breathing as the helicopter was proceeding to shore for release of the survivors to medical authorities. Lieutenant VAN NEVEL demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and courage in spite of imminent personal danger. His unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United Sates Coast Guard.


VASQUEZ, Harry, Fireman, USCG

Date of Action:  15 July 2001
Date of Award:  4 September 2002 

Fireman VASQUEZ is cited for heroism while serving aboard USCGC CUSHING (WPB 1321) during the early morning of 15 July 2001. While operating 20 nautical miles east of the British Virgin Islands, the CUSHING detected and pursued the M/V DOUBLE IMPACT, which was suspected of being engaged in migrant smuggling. At the conclusion of the pursuit, the DOUBLE IMPACT capsized, ejecting more than 25 migrants into the sea. Displaying exceptional bravery and courage, Fireman VASQUEZ volunteered to enter the water in an attempt to rescue two adults who could not swim and were on the verge of drowning. Despite having no training as a rescue swimmer, he risked his life by entering the debris-filled seas in complete darkness as considerable swells carried the adults further out of reach of a nearby life raft. Operating without a tether, Fireman VASQUEZ made his way to the life raft, brought it within reach of the drowning migrants and helped them take hold of the raft. During the rescue, he had to swim outside the visible range of the cutter as CUSHING's port searchlight experienced a casualty and was inoperable. Because CUSHING had difficulty maneuvering in the debris-filled seas, Fireman VASQUEZ remained in the treacherous seas with the panicking migrants for over ten minutes. He vectored CUSHING to his location by sounding-off at regular intervals. Without his heroic efforts, the two migrants almost certainly would have perished. Fireman VASQUEZ demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Mojica, Dennis).


VENNIE, Mark L., Seaman Apprentice, USCG

Date of Action:  18-19 December 1978
Date of Award:  14 May 1980

Seaman Apprentice VENNIE is cited for heroism on 18 and 19 December 1978 while engaged in providing assistance to the fishing vessel ELIZABETH R, which was taking on water and in danger of sinking approximately 25-miles southeast of Beach Haven Inlet, New Jersey. Upon notification that the vessel was taking on water, Seaman Apprentice VENNIE was dispatched as engineer of Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG-44355. After a four and one-half hour transit through seas in excess of 25-feet with winds exceeding 50-knots, CG-44355 arrived on scene and found ELIZABETH R foundering in heavy seas and unable to control the flooding. Realizing the danger to the crew of the stricken vessel, Seaman Apprentice VENNIE assisted in formulating an effective method for delivering a salvage pump. As the Motor Lifeboat was brought alongside ELIZABETH R a towline was successfully passed. Then a floatable pump was shackled to the towline and successfully passed to ELIZABETH R. The towline was subsequently disconnected due to the sea conditions. CG-44355 remained on scene throughout the night despite deteriorating weather conditions and monitored the pump operations on ELIZABETH R. As the night progressed, CG-44355 began to experience fuel problems with the port engine. At first light CG-44355 was relieved by USCGC POINT BATAN [WPB-82340].  Proceeding towards shore, the coxswains and engineers alternated working hand-operated fuel pumps for the port engine. Finally, after 18-hours underway and over 60-miles of transit through terrible weather conditions, CG-44355 was maneuvered into a lee near Barnegat Inlet and relieved. Seaman Apprentice VENNIE demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger during this mission. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Kleuskens, Jeffrey A., Swank, William R., and Weaver, Charles C.)


WALDRON, Grant W., Health Services Technician Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  30 June 1985
Date of Award:  27 October 1985

Petty Officer WALDRON is cited for heroism on the night of 30 June 1985 when he assisted in the rescue of a drowning man in the frigid waters of the Manitowoc River, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Petty Officer WALDRON was departing USCGC MESQUITE  [WLB-305] on authorized liberty when he noticed activity on a nearby bridge.  Upon seeing a shipmate plunge from the bridge, Petty Officer WALDRON immediately, and with complete disregard for his own safety, jumped into the river and swam approximately 100 yards to help his shipmate rescue a drowning man.  Petty Officer WALDRON kept the unconscious victim’s head above water while attempting to revive him and helped place the man in a passing boat.  He also administered first aid to combat shock and maintain body heat until relieved by local paramedics.  Petty Officer WALDRON’s remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and extreme daring in spite of imminent personal danger resulted in the saving of a man’s life.  His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Kyvik, Eric)


WALTERS, James Paul, Engineman Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  07 September 1963
Date of Award: 30 July 1964 

For heroism, on September 7, 1963, while serving as crewman aboard the CG-36515, engaged in rescuing a woman who was trapped in the hull of an overturned cabin cruiser near Humboldt Bay, California. WALTERS, aboard the CG-36515, proceeded to the scene about 350 yards offshore in the vicinity of twenty foot breakers. As the lifeboat approached the cruiser, WALTERS immediately dived into the water and attempted to rescue the victim, who could be heard screaming and pounding on the hull. However, due to the buoyancy of the wet suit he was wearing, he was unable to get under the capsized vessel. By this time the cabin cruiser had drifted into the breakers, and the CG-36515  had to tow the vessel seaward to provide a safe working area. WALTERS and another crewman stayed in the water to steady the vessel. WALTERS then continued attempts to get under the capsized cruiser until the CG-44305 arrived on the scene with a fresh crew. The two lifeboat crews succeeded in temporarily righting the overturned boat and freed the unconscious woman, before the boat again capsized. Aboard the lifeboat, the victim was administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She soon regained consciousness and was removed to a hospital. In spite of ever present personal danger, WALTERS demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and daring. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Gates, Lester K., Hoffman, William R., and Nelson, Thomas E.)


WALTERS, Robert S., Hospital Corpsman First Class, USCG

Date of Action:  08-09 November 1979
Date of Award:  27 March 1980

Petty Officer WALTERS is cited for heroism on the night and early morning of 8 and 9 November 1979 when he assisted in the rescue of the crew of the Japanese Fishing Vessel RYUYO MARU No. 2 which had gone aground on Tolstoi Point, St. Paul Island, Alaska.  Upon notification of the grounding, Petty Officer WALTERS, a member of the crew of Coast Guard Loran Station St. Paul, volunteered to accompany the acting commanding officer and another crewman in the rescue attempt.  The three men proceeded to a cliff approximately 150-feet above the vessel.  Despite winds in excess of 40-knots, harsh breakers produced by 20-foot seas, darkness, and the presence of nauseating diesel fuel fumes and fuel and salt spray, the three men climbed down to the rocky beach and carefully made their way through the slippery rocks and breaking seas almost a mile down the beach to the stricken vessel.  Upon arrival the men secured 3 lines from the vessel to huge boulders and began rescue operations by means of Boatswain's chairs.  Several hours later, after Petty Officer WALTERS and a Public Health Service Physician who had arrived on the beach had made a futile search for an alternative route to safety, all 81 members of the crew were safely on the beach.  The survivors were then taken in groups back along the beach and up onto the cliff.  Petty Officer WALTERS demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  His unselfish actions, courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

Citation not on file.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Wassell, Edward H. and Wilson, Samuel L.)


WARN, Mark A., Machinery Technician Third Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  08 January 1978
Date of Award:  31 July 1978

Petty Officer WARN is cited for extraordinary heroism on the afternoon of 8 January 1978 when he rescued a man from drowning in heavy seas at Oceanside, California Harbor entrance.  As a result of recent storms offshore, Petty Office WARN was deployed on Oceanside Harbor Police boat number 306 to assist with the expected small boat cases arising from high seas.  At mid-afternoon, a 25-foot sailboat was observed capsizing near the entrance of the Harbor, throwing the two occupants into the water.  Upon arriving on scene, Petty Officer WARN realized that the two victims were unable to help themselves and the Harbor Police Boat was unable to maneuver into position because of the high surf and close proximity of the rocks. With complete disregard for his safety, Petty Officer WARN entered the water and swam toward the hapless survivors.  As he approached the victims, he observed one of them had a personal flotation device and was being pulled into another Harbor Police boat. Proceeding to the second victim, who was unconscious and being dashed against the rocks, Petty Officer WARN grabbed him and towed him far enough away from the jetty that a line from a disabled Harbor Police boat could be reached.  Petty Officer WARN then assisted the helpless man into the boat. While personnel on board provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the victim, Petty Officer WARN took the helm of the boat as it was towed to shore.  Petty Officer WARN demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Note: Silver Lifesaving Medals were awarded to Roderick M. Adams, Jon W. Curtis, and David R. Wilcox, all of whom were civilian police officers, for their respective roles in this rescue).


WARNAT, Ulrich Richard, Engineman First Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  30-31 December 1969
Date of Award:  21 July 1971

Petty Officer WARNAT is cited for heroic conduct during the period 30 to 31 December 1969 while serving as a crew member of USCGC SHACKLE (WYTL-65609), engaged in combating a dangerous fire aboard the gasoline-laden coastal tanker DEAN REINAUER in Portland Harbor, Maine. The tanker had experienced an explosion in the engine room while loading high octane gasoline form the tanker AMOCO LOUISIANA, which was moored to the American Oil Company Dock in a heavily congested petroleum terminal of the inner harbor. As the burning vessel was being towed from Portland Harbor to prevent destruction of the terminal, Petty Officer WARNAT assisted his shipmates in their efforts to cool the superstructure as the tanker was towed to a safe anchorage area. When it became imperative to anchor the DEAN REINAUER to effectively fight the fire, Petty Officer WARNAT voluntarily boarded the burning vessel and assisted in the anchoring operation. Although the operation was hampered by a series of violent explosions, Petty Officer WARNAT continued his efforts and after departing the flaming tanker he persevered in combating the fire. His remarkable initiative and daring, in spite of imminent personal danger, contributed significantly to extinguishing the fire and preventing a major holocaust in Portland Harbor. Petty Officer WARNAT’s unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Warren, Edward A. and Tilton, Donald O.)


WARREN, Edward Arthur, Boatswain’s Mate First Class, USCG

Date of Action:  30-31 December 1969
Date of Award:  21 July 1971

Petty Officer WARREN is cited for heroic conduct during the period 30 to 31 December 1969 while serving as a crew member of USCGC SHACKLE (WYTL-65609), engaged in combating a dangerous fire aboard the gasoline-laden coastal tanker DEAN REINAUER in Portland Harbor, Maine. The tanker had experienced an explosion in the engine room while loading high octane gasoline form the tanker AMOCO LOUISIANA, which was moored to the American Oil Company dock in a heavily congested petroleum terminal of the inner harbor. As the burning vessel was being towed from Portland Harbor to prevent destruction of the terminal, Petty Officer WARREN voluntarily boarded the burning vessel and assisted in the anchoring operation. Despite the hazards of a series of violent explosions, which greatly hampered the operation, Petty Officer WARREN courageously continued his efforts. After departing the flaming tanker, Petty Officer WARREN continued to gallantly combat the fire. His remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger, contributed significantly to extinguishing the fire and preventing a major holocaust in Portland Harbor. Petty Officer WARREN’s unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Tilton, Donald and Warnat, Ulrich R.)


WASSELL, Edward H., Jr., Chief Warrant Officer, USCG

Date of Action:  08-09 November 1979
Date of Award:  27 March 1980

Chief Warrant Officer WASSELL is cited for heroism on the night and early morning of 8 and 9 November 1979 when he assisted in the rescue of the crew of the Japanese fishing vessel RYUYO MARU No.2 which had grounded on Tolstoi Point, St. Paul Island, Alaska. Upon notification of the grounding, Chief Warrant Officer WASSELL, Acting Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Loran Station St. Paul, proceeded to a cliff approximately 150-feet above the vessel and assumed the duties of On-Scene-Commander. Despite winds in excess of 40-knots, harsh breakers produced by 20-foot seas, darkness, and the presence of nauseating diesel fuel fumes and fuel and salt spray, Chief Warrant Officer WASSELL and two other Coast Guardsmen began to seek a useable path of escape for the crew of RYUYO MARU No. 2. In this endeavor, the three men climbed down to the rocky beach and carefully made their way through the slippery rocks and breaking seas almost a mile down the beach to the stricken vessel. Upon arrival the men secured 3 lines from the vessel to huge boulders and began rescue operations by means of boatswain’s chairs. Several hours later, all 81 members of the crew were safely on the beach. Then Chief Warrant Officer WASSELL led the first group of men back along the beach and onto the cliff where vehicles were waiting to take the survivors to the Loran Station. The other two Coast Guardsmen brought the rest of the crewmen to safety along the same route. Chief Warrant Officer WASSELL demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Walters, Robert S. and Wilson, Samuel L.)


WATSON, Sean K., Machinery Technician Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  30 October 1991
Date of Award:  09 September 2002

Citation not on file.


WEAVER, Charles C., III, Boatswain’s Mate Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  18-19 December 1978
Date of Award:  14 May 1980

Petty Officer WEAVER is cited for heroism on 18 and 19 December 1978 while engaged in providing assistance to the fishing vessel ELIZABETH R, which was taking on water and in danger of sinking approximately 25-miles southeast of Beach Haven Inlet, New Jersey. Upon notification that the vessel was taking on water, Petty Officer WEAVER was dispatched as coxswain/crewman of Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG-44355. After a four and one-half hour transit through seas in excess of 25-feet with winds exceeding 50-knots, CG-44355 arrived on scene and found ELIZABETH R foundering in heavy seas and unable to control the flooding. Realizing the danger to the crew of the stricken vessel, Petty Officer WEAVER assisted in formulating an effective method for delivering a salvage pump. As the Motor Lifeboat was brought alongside ELIZABETH R a towline was successfully passed. Then a floatable pump was shackled to the towline and successfully passed to ELIZABETH R. The towline was subsequently disconnected due to the sea conditions. CG-44355 remained on scene throughout the night despite deteriorating weather conditions and monitored the pump operations on ELIZABETH R. As the night progressed, CG-44355 began to experience fuel problems with the port engine. At first light CG-44355 was relieved by USCGC POINT BATAN [WPB-82340].  Proceeding towards shore, the coxswains and engineers alternated working hand-operated fuel pumps for the port engine. Finally, after 18-hours underway and over 60-miles of transit through terrible weather conditions, CG-44355 was maneuvered into a lee near Barnegat Inlet and relieved. Petty Officer Weaver demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger during this mission. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Kleuskens, Jeffrey A., Swank, William R., and Vennie, Mark L.)


WHITE, Richard C., Machinery Technician Second Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:   7 June 1981
Date of Award:  13 May 1982

[F/V Odyssey rescue]

Petty Officer WHITE is cited for heroism on the afternoon of 7 June 1981 while serving as engineer aboard Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat (MLB) 44400 out of Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon.  Upon notification that a fishing vessel had capsized, the MLB proceeded through 12 to 14 foot seas and 45 knot winds to the area.  Locating the overturned vessel, the MLB could not approach close enough to determine if anyone was trapped inside the hull.  The only alternative was to have someone from the MLB hoisted by an on scene Coast Guard helicopter and lowered to the vessel.  Petty Officer WHITE volunteered and quickly donned the hoist sling just as the MLB fell off a wave into the trough.  For the next several minutes he hung perilously on the helicopter's hoist cable.  Three times he banged into the overturned hull before finally grasping the propeller shaft and clinging to the rolling hull.  Using his folding knife, Petty Officer WHITE began tapping on the hull and holding on as best he could since he had no tending line for a safety device.  Eventually his taps were answered.  Someone was trapped inside the vessel.  His mission completed, Petty Officer WHITE was again hoisted aboard the helicopter.  His courageous actions set in motion the rescue of two men from the overturned vessel.  Petty Officer WHITE demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this mission.  His unselfish actions, courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


WHITE, Robert M., Seaman Apprentice, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  05 January 1980
Date of Award:
  29 April 1980

Seaman Apprentice WHITE is cited for extraordinary heroism on 5 January 1980 when he assisted in the rescue of two men from the grounded barge MICHAEL F in the turbulent surf near Little Egg Inlet, New Jersey. Upon notification of the grounding, Seaman Apprentice WHITE departed Coast Guard Station New Haven a crewman on board Coast Guard Motor Life Boat CG-44355 and proceeded to the scene despite heavy surf and a driving snowstorm. Arriving on scene, the barge was observed engulfed in 20-foot breakers, lying broadside to the surf, approximately 1-mile offshore. As the coxswain maneuvered CG-44355 closer to the hapless barge, Seaman Apprentice WHITE moved to the forward deck of the boat to assist in the rescue attempt. Despite the mountainous waves and blinding snow, he assisted two crewmen to the bow where they were lashed to the rail. As CG-44355 came alongside the barge, the two survivors, who were trapped in a leaking deckhouse of the 300-foot barge, broke out of the deckhouse and waded through waist deep water to the rail and vaulted over it into the arms of the two Coast Guardsmen lashed to the rails of CG-44355. Seaman Apprentice WHITE demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Greer, Matthew C., Langstaff, Eric M., Quinn, Daryl G., and Truppa, Chris P.)


WHITE, Sanford C.,   Engineman (Life Saving) Second Class, USCG

Date of Action:  29 December 1960
Date of Award:  24 April 1961

For heroism during fire fighting operations following an explosion and fire aboard the USCGC CHILULA (WATF 153), which was underway on a logistics trip on 29 December 1960.  When the explosion occurred, WHITE was sprayed with hot lube oil which ignited his clothes and caused second and third degree burns to his hands, arms, back and face.  He quickly beat out the flames and despite his painful injuries and the intense heat and smoke, which precluded others entering the engine room without an inhalator, began fighting the fire alone with portable extinguishers until it was under control.  He then shut down the engine in which the explosion occurred.  By the time help arrived, WHITE was in a state of shock and had to be assisted from the engine room.  His actions, at great risk to his own life, undoubtedly prevented a rapid spread of the fire and loss of all propulsion power for a protracted period of time.  WHITE demonstrated initiative and fortitude, in spite of imminent personal danger.  His unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


WILCOX, Stephen K., Aviation Electrician’s Mate Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  07 July 1986
Date of Award:  26 January 1988

Petty Officer WILCOX is cited for heroism on the early morning of 7 July 1986 when he and a friend responded to a life-threatening fire in a three-story apartment complex. Spotting smoke coming from the ground floor of the building, and fearing the fire would quickly spread, Petty Officer WILCOX rushed to the top floors and began awakening residents. He instructed the first person he encountered to summon the fire department. As the fire was rapidly spreading and intensifying, he directed the other residents to safety away from the building. After ensuring all occupants from the top floors were safe, Petty Officer WILCOX dashed to the ground-floor apartment where the fire began. Staying close to the floor to avoid the thick smoke and intense heat, he entered the apartment and searched for victims. He found an unconscious man – an apparent victim of smoke inhalation – in one of the bedrooms. With the help of his friend, Petty Officer WILCOX dragged the victim out of the building away from danger, and immediately administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the victim was revived.  Petty Officer WILCOX, by his daring actions, decisive leadership, knowledge of first aid, and sheer determination, risked his own life to save seven others. Petty Officer WILCOX demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  His courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.


WILLIAMS, Robert R., Aviation Survival Technician Third Class, USCG

Date of Action: 1 September 2005
Date of Award: 21 March 2006

Citation (pdf)


WILLIAMS, Jolyn, Fireman, USCG

Date of Action:  09 May 1999
Date of Award:  28 August 2000

Citation unavailable.  Coast Guard Press Release (D-14) Number 104-00 stated:

"Petty Officer 3rd Class Jolyn Williams. . .received the Coast Guard Medal August 28 for her heroic rescue efforts following a landslide at Sacred Falls State Park, O'ahu, Hawaii, which occurred May 9, 1999.  At the time, Williams was stationed as a seaman on the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis, homeported in Honolulu.  He and three other Jarvis crewmembers were hiking in the park when the landslide occurred, dumping tons of rocks on dozens of hikers and campers.  The catastrophic event killed eight people and injured many others.  The four Jarvis crew members demonstrated a total disregard for their own personal safety by re-entering the landslide area to offer assistance.   Williams established a makeshift triage area away from the danger zone.  She assisted many injured people for more than three hours by bandaging bleeding cuts and applying pressure to wounds until tourniquets could be applied.  She also helped prepare the injured for transportation on body boards, supplied water to both the injured and rescue workers, and comforted a fatally injured child.  Williams was honored with the Coast Guard Medal, one of the highest medals awarded during peacetime, as a result of her extraordinary heroism and courage."

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Cruz, Astrubal J.; Culnon, William R.; Jackson, Angela)


WILLIAMSON, Gordon Arthur, Seaman, USCG

Date of Action:  17 February 1973
Date of Award:  29 June 1973

Seaman WILLIAMSON is cited for heroism on the afternoon and evening of 17 February 1973 while serving as coxswain of CG-40459 engaged in the perilous rescue of the drifting fishing vessel SOUTHERN MAID which became disabled in high seas and strong winds immediately adjacent to the South Texas Coast near Port Aransas, Texas. The CG-40459 was dispatched from Coast Guard Station, Port Aransas to evaluate the sea and weather conditions at the Port Aranasa jetties. Seaman WILLIAMSON evaluated the sea conditions as marginal for small boat operations. He then sighted the fishing vessel SOUTHERN MAID offshore in imminent danger of grounding and her crew hazarded by the heavy seas. Seaman WILLIAMSON elected to proceed to the ship’s rescue and, after receiving permission from Coast Guard Station, Port Aransas, skillfully maneuvered the CG-40459 to pass a towline to the stricken vessel. The towline parted a number of times due to the heavy strain. Seaman WILLIAMSON quickly maneuvered on each occasion to reestablish his tow and resume the torturously slow progress toward the safety of the jetties. At times the CG-40459 was shipping so much water that the aft deck was completely swamped. Despite extreme personal danger to his crew and himself, Seaman WILLIAMSON persevered, struggling against darkness and numerous other obstacles. He safely escorted the SOUTHERN MAID to a safe anchorage after more than five and one-half hours of fighting the elements. Seaman WILLIAMSON’s initiative and courageous actions contributed to saving the lives of the three man crew and prevented the loss of the vessel. His unselfishness and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


WILSON, Samuel L., Jr., Chief Boatswain’s Mate, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism) 

Date of Action:  08-09 November 1979
Date of Award:  27 March 1980

Chief Petty Officer WILSON is cited for heroism on the night and early morning of 8 and 9 November 1979 when he assisted in the rescue of the crew of the Japanese fishing vessel RYUYO MARU No.2 which had grounded on Tolstoi Point, St. Paul Island, Alaska. Upon notification of the grounding, Chief Petty  Officer WILSON, a member of the crew of Coast Guard Loran Station St. Paul, volunteered to accompany  the acting commanding officer and another crewman in the rescue attempt. The three men proceeded to a cliff approximately 150-feet above the vessel. Despite winds in excess of 40-knots, harsh breakers produced by 20-foot seas, darkness, and the presence of nauseating diesel fuel fumes and fuel and salt spray, the three men began to seek a useable path of escape for the crew of RYUYO MARU No. 2. In this endeavor, the three men climbed down to the rocky beach, and with Chief Petty Officer WILSON leading the way, carefully made their way through the slippery rocks and breaking seas almost a mile down the beach to the stricken vessel. Upon arrival the men secured 3 lines from the vessel to huge boulders and began rescue operations by means of boatswain’s chairs. Several hours later, all 81 members of the crew were safely on the beach. The survivors were then taken in groups back along the beach and up onto the cliff. Chief Petty Officer WILSON was the last man to leave as he followed along to ensure that  there were no stragglers. Chief Petty Officer WILSON demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Walters, Robert S. and Wassell, Edward H.)


WILTON, Ronald B., Boatswain’s Mate Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  20 September 1980
Date of Award:  12 February 1981

Petty Officer WILTON is cited for heroism on the afternoon of 20 September 1980 while serving as coxswain of motor life boat (MLB) 30201. During this period he was engaged in the rescue of personnel from the charter boat NANCY H, which had capsized and broken up while attempting to cross the Tillamook Bay bar. Dispatched from Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay, Petty Officer WILTON arrived on scene and spotted eight persons clinging to a raft. Displaying expert seamanship, Petty Officer WILTON maneuvered the MLB through the debris-strewn 15-foot seas and passed a line to the raft. As the raft neared the MLB, a 20-foot breaker washed the raft away. Seven of the survivors were able to maintain their grasp on the raft. Immediately backing the MLB down, Petty Officer WILTON passed a second line to the raft. With the raft alongside the MLB, Petty Officer WILTON assisted in bringing the seven survivors aboard the severely rolling MLB. With the survivors safely onboard, Petty Officer WILTON maneuvered to bring the eighth person alongside the MLB and assisted in pulling him to safety. With no remaining survivors in sight, Petty Officer WILTON proceeded outside the breaking Tillamook Bar and directed his crew to administer to the survivors. He was then informed by Station Tillamook Bay that one person remained missing. Petty Officer WILTON immediately proceeded in and crossed the breaking bar. Although operating in the vicinity of debris and mountainous seas, the remaining victim was spotted floating in the most treacherous part of the bar. Without hesitation, Petty Officer WILTON turned the MLB almost parallel to the breakers, positioned the vessel for the recovery, and assisted his crewmen in the recovery of the victim. Afterwards, he directed his crew to commence CPR as he proceeded to the Station mooring.  Petty Officer WILTON demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger during this rescue. His unselfish actions, courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United Sates Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Harshfield, Richard A [second award]).


WINGO, Benjamin F., Seaman Apprentice, USCG

Date of Action:  12 February 1997
Date of Award:  18 February 1997

Seaman Apprentice WINGO is cited for extraordinary heroism on 12 February 1997 while serving as a crew member aboard Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat 44363, attached to Coast Guard Station Quillayute River.  Shortly before 1 o’clock in the morning, responding to a distress call from the sailing vessel GALE RUNNER, Station Quillayute River launched two rescue boats.  The operator of GALE RUNNER reported that the vessel was dismasted, taking on water, and in danger of sinking, 2 miles south of the Quillayute River entrance. Seas of up to 25 feet, combined with high winds and driving rain, created a situation of imminent danger for the two people aboard the GALE RUNNER.  Soon after crossing the treacherous bar in an attempt to reach the stricken sailboat, the motor lifeboat suddenly rolled over several times in the surf and confused seas.  As a result of the repeated roll-overs, three crew members were forcibly separated from his rescue craft and thrown into the churning ocean. Seaman Apprentice WINGO managed to remain on his rescue craft and released his safety line as his stricken lifeboat itself crashed repeatedly on the rocks.  Despite his harrowing ordeal, he was able to fire flares to signal his boat’s and his crewmates’ distress.  A Coast Guard HH-65 helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles was able to hoist to safety the two people from the GALE RUNNER as it crashed on the rocks.  As a crewmember of Coast Guard 44363, Seaman Apprentice WINGO willingly entered extreme ocean storm conditions and risked his own life while attempting to save the lives of the two people from the GALE RUNNER. Seaman Apprentice WINGO demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Bosley, David A., Miniken, Clinton P., and Schlimme, Matthew E.  In addition, as a result of their actions during this rescue, the following Coast Guardsmen received the Distinguished Flying Cross: AM3 Neal W. Amos, CDR Paul A. Langlois, and CDR Raymond J. Miller)


WOOD, Gary W.,  Aviation Machinists Mate Second Class, USCG (Extraordinary Heroism)

Date of Action:  11 May 1981
Date of Award:  11 May 1981

Citation not on file.


WOODELL, David E., Seaman, USCG

Date of Action: 30 October 1991
Date of Award: 09 September 2002

Seamen WOODELL is cited for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1991 while serving as a member of the rescue team on board the CGC TAMAROA during the rescue of four survivors from an Air National Guard (ANG) H-60 helicopter in what became known as “The Perfect Storm.” The ANG H-60 was forced to ditch because it could not refuel from a C-130 tanker due to the violent turbulence caused by the worst weather in more than 100 years. When a USCG H-3F helicopter could not hoist the ANG crew because the force of the wind was so strong the basket did not go down to the water, but went almost straight back into the tail rotor, the TAMAROA became their only hope. Seaman WOODELL volunteered to be a member of the rescue team knowing the grim fact that he could lose his own life if he was washed overboard, As the seas towered above the bridge of the TAMAROA and the weather buoys reported wave heights of 100 feet, the TAMAROA did not have enough power to fight the storm and make a controlled approach to the men in the water. By turning beam to the seas and using their power, the TAMAROA was able to approach the ANG crew, but at a cost of taking 55-degree rolls. The rescue team could not even walk out to the bow; they crawled on their hands and knees. For almost two hours, Seaman WOODELL and the others held their breath, as they were completely submerged in 56-degree water as the waves crashed on deck. With an incredible display of teamwork, all survivors were snagged in a cargo net and hauled aboard the TAMAROA. If Seaman WOODELL had not risked his life during the worst storm of the century, the survivors of the ANG H-60 would certainly have died. His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

Original Citation.


WOODELL, Warren E., Boatswains Mate Third Class

Date of Action:  13 August 1976
Date of Award:  07 November 1977

Citation not on file.

(Related Coast Guard Medal citation: Carr, William B.)


YOUNGBLOOD, Robert Joseph, Boatswain’s Mate Third Class, USCG

Date of Action:  28 June 1966
Date of Award:  25 January 1967

For heroism on the afternoon of June 28, 1966 while serving as Officer in Charge of CG-40451, engaged in rescue operations following explosions aboard the damaged British tanker ALVA CAPE anchored in Gravesend Bay, New York.  While pumping operations were in progress to remove naphtha from the tanker, an explosion rocked the ALVA CAPE and fire spread over the vessel.  A man was sighted hanging by one arm from the railing of one of the barges alongside the ALVA CAPE.  Petty Officer YOUNGBLOOD, then a Seaman, maneuvered the CG-40451alongside the man who jumped and was caught by crew members. Moments later, another explosion shook the damaged tanker, hurling the officer in charge of a New York City fireboat into the water. Petty Officer YOUNGBLOOD immediately headed the CG-40451 toward the man, and despite a further explosion, searing heat and leaping flames, reached the fireman who was wearing boots and a heavy coat and pulled him aboard.  Petty Officer YOUNGBLOOD demonstrated initiative, fortitude, and courage in spite of imminent personal danger.  His unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United Sates Coast Guard. 

(Related Coast Guard Medal citations: Coriell, Floyd T.  Silver Lifesaving Medals were awarded to William B. Thorup, Jr., and Joseph B. Snyder, civilians, for their respective roles in this rescue).


ZOGOPOULAS, Cathy P., Seaman Apprentice, USCG

Date of Action:  09 February 1992
Date of Award:  09 April 1992

Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS is cited for heroism on 9 February 1992 when she rescued two elderly people from a fire sweeping through their mobile home.  Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS was on watch at Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Florida, responding to a routine request from Florida Marine Patrol to assist with investigating several floating 55-gallon oil drums in the vicinity of a mobile home park in Key Largo, Florida.  Upon arriving at the scene, Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS heard the Florida Marine Patrol officer shouting “fire” and gesturing towards mobile home number 25.  While the Florida Marine Patrol officer went to retrieve a fire extinguisher from his vehicle, Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS approached the door of the dwelling.  Although the door and knob were hot to the touch, she persisted and gained entry. Following the voice of an elderly lady through the smoke-filled mobile home, she located the woman and assisted her to safety.  Having accomplished this, Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS ascertained from the victim that an elderly man was sleeping in a rear bedroom.  Despite the rapid progress of the fire, and the obvious danger to herself, Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULOAS went back into the mobile home and located the sleeping man.  She succeeded in rousing the man and, despite the presence of thick smoke and entire walls engulfed by flames, she succeeded in escorting him to safety outside, where the administered first aid to both victims.  She then located and secured power to the mobile home. Seaman Apprentice ZOGOPOULAS demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue.  Her courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard .


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