Coast Guard History

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General George S. Patton, U.S. Army

In February 1926 then-Major Patton was awarded the Silver Lifesaving Medal by the Treasury Department. At the time of the rescue for which the medal was awarded Patton was on three months of leave in Salem, Massachusetts. He had just graduated from Advanced Cavalry School in Fort Riley, Kansas.

The citation reads:

"Major Patton and his wife, sailing over the harbor of Salem, Massachusetts, August 21, 1923, when a squall blew up. Being unable to weather around and return home they continued on across the harbor, after which they heard cries of distress astern. Still being unable to go about, Major Patton maneuvered his boat so as to drift toward three boys observed clinging to a capsized dory from which the mast and sails had been unshipped and floating around making the approach very awkward. One boy called that his companion could not swim, whereupon Major Patton reached out an oar, taking the boys, one by one over the stern into his boat, which then had practically no freeboard. Nevertheless, he managed to reach the lee of the land and dropped the boys safely on a pier, about one and one-half miles distant."


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Last Modified 1/2/2013