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U.S. Coast Guard Awards

John L. Culp

Awarded 25 June 1962

For extreme and heroic daring on the night of 12 January 1961, while serving as coxswain of the CG-52301, engaged in the attempted rescue of two persons from the F/V Mermaid, disabled in Peacock Spit at the north entrance of the Columbia River.  As the CG-52301 proceeded from the Point Adams Lifeboat Station, in early evening darkness, extremely adverse weather conditions prevailed across the bar, and the vessel labored and pounded in the heavy seas.  After much difficulty, the F/V Mermaid was taken in tow.  Shortly thereafter, though, the towline parted and BM1 Culp skillfully maneuvered the CG-52301 and took the fishing boat in tow.  However, the towline parted again and the Mermaid drifted into Peacock Spit, one of the most dangerous areas on the Pacific Coast.  Completely aware of the great risk and danger involved, Culp nevertheless steered the CG-52301 into the heavy breakers in an attempt to assist the fishing vessel.  He was not seen alive again as the boat was apparently overwhelmed by the boiling surf.  Culp displayed outstanding courage and fortitude while sacrificing his own life in a gallant attempt to save the lives of others.

Last Modified 1/12/2016