Skip Navigation


Security Levels


U.S. Coast Guard Awards 

Bailey T. Barco

Awarded on 7 October 1901

For extreme and heroic action on 21 December 1900 while engaged in the rescue of the crew of the schooner Jennie Hall which had run aground in a severe winter storm off the coast of Virginia Beach, VA.  Upon notification of the grounding, Keeper Barco proceeded to the scene and took command as keeper in charge at the wreck.  Realizing that the use of the surfboat was dangerous, if not impossible, Keeper Barco directed the assembling of the beach apparatus and soon a breeches buoy had delivered all but one of the survivors to safety.  The last victim was so numbed by the cold that he could not help himself.  After an unsuccessful effort by one of the members of the Dam Neck Hills Station to ride the breeches buoy out and help the man, Keeper Barco decided to take the surfboat out to the wreck and attempt to put two men aboard Jennie Hall.  Following several ill-fated attempts, Keeper Barco, as boat coxswain, and his volunteer crew launched the surfboat and put two of the crew aboard the rapidly disintegrating ship.  Despite turbulent and freezing seas, Keeper Barco kept the surfboat under oars until one of his own crew was washed overboard.  Quickly recovering the man, Keeper Barco guided the surfboat back to the beach since it was impossible to remain near the wreck in the storm-tossed seas.  The helpless crewman of Jennie Hall and the two volunteers who had been put aboard the wreck were then brought safely to the beach by the breeches buoy.  Keeper Barco's exemplary courage, fortitude, and initiative in this valiant rescue, despite imminent personal danger, reflect the highest honor upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Life-Saving Service.

Last Modified 1/12/2016