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U.S. Coast Guard Awards


Sherwood R. Anderson

Awarded 1 April 1957


For extreme and heroic daring on the night of 15 December 1955, when he rescued a man from drowning in the heavy surf near Plum Island, NY.  SN Sherwood Anderson was on duty at the Plum Island Light Station when he was informed that a heavily loaded barge was cast adrift in the strong tide and high winds off Plum Island.  Anderson provided illumination of the beach area by turning on the headlights of a truck, and then stood by to assist.  Shortly afterward, the barge went aground about fifty yards from shore and the barge captain, wearing a life jacket, went overboard from the barge in a small balsa raft.  As he proceeded toward shore, the heavy surf tipped over the raft and the man was trapped with his legs entangled in the netted bottom of the raft and the upper portion of his body submerged in the water.  Disregarding his own personal safety, and despite darkness, high winds, and, below freezing temperature, Anderson immediately entered the surging water and swam out through the surf.  He reached the raft, turned it to an upright position, and proceeded to drag the unconscious man and the raft to shore.  Upon reaching the beach Anderson extricated the man from the raft and, although suffering from exposure and exhaustion, succeeded in getting the victim up a 25-foot bluff to the safety of the lighthouse.  Anderson's outstanding courage, initiative, fortitude and unwavering devotion to duty while endangering his life during this rescue reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


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Last Modified 11/17/2014