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Past NACOS 1971-1990

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PNACO Henry G. Pratt, IIINACO Pratt 
1989-1990

Henry G. Pratt III was born in 1940 in Washington, D.C., and resided for most of the next 50 years in Arlington, Virginia.  He was married in 1963 to the former Mary Agnes Buchanan.  They have one son and daughter-in-law and one grandson.

Pratt received a BA degree in economics from Emory & Henry College in 1963 and completed two years of graduate study in business administration at George Washington University.  He is a graduate of the American Institute of Banking and of the Virginia-Maryland School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia.  His career was in branch bank management with a bank which evolved into Wachovia Bank.

Pratt served in the US Army as an infantry officer with assignments in the United States and South Korea during which time he earned two US Army Commendation Medals.

Membership in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for Commodore and Mrs. Pratt began in 1964.  Pratt has served in various staff and all elected offices at the four levels of the Auxiliary organization.  He was the National Commodore in 1989 -1990 and served on the former Horizon Committee/Long Range Planning Committee for over 10 years until it was dissolved.  He is currently a member of the Coast Guard Uniform Board and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Association Board of Directors.  He is an AUXOP and is coxswain qualified.  Currently he and Mary are members of the 7th District where he serves as the Division 10 Staff Officer for Operations, working closely with Sector Charleston, MSU Savannah, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah and Coast Guard Station Tybee.

Commodore Pratt has been a board member of the United Safe Boating Institute, the BOAT/US National Advisory Council, the Coast Guard Reserve Policy Board and the Auxiliary Long Range Planning Committee, as well as the Sea Pines Country Club Board of Directors.  In his avocation "golf" he has served on the board and as president of the Seniors Men's Golf Association of Hilton Head Island and is presently the chairman of Hilton Head Island Interclub Golf Association.

Commodore Pratt has been the recipient of various individual and team Coast Guard and Auxiliary awards and recognitions including two USCG Public Service Awards, several USCG Meritorious Commendations with "O" device, several Auxiliary Commendation Medals, the Auxiliary Achievement Medal and in 2003 was awarded the USCG Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his service from 1993 to 2003.


PNACO Will C. "Papa" Harr     PNACO Harr 
1987-1988
Deceased

William C. ‘Papa’ Harr was a popular and well-known figure in the Auxiliary, rising through the ranks from 1977, when he served as Flotilla Commander of 14-02-23, to be elected 14th District Commodore in 1981.  He went on to be voted National Rear Commodore-West and National Vice Commodore under Chris Lagen, finally being elected NACO in 1987.  Following he remained active at the local, district, and national levels, serving as member training and operations officer; president of the past Division Captain’s Association; Hawaii State Liaison Officer; and as a Public Affairs national staff branch chief (creative imagery), among other positions.  He was also active in the Coast Guard Foundation.  Due to his frequent visits and many friends made, he was elected an honorary district commodore of 11SR in California.

As National Commodore Harr transitioned the Auxiliary from its Goal Attainment Program (GAP) to the Auxiliary Management by Objectives System (AMOS), both of which programs set increased program and membership goals at all organizational levels, as management tools.  Harr worked with Cmdt. Paul Yost in expanding the roles the Auxiliary played to support Coast Guard missions.  The Department of Transportation membership study was initiated during his tenure to determine the causes of declining membership.  On his watch, the Coast Guard reconfigured their district structure to which the Auxiliary conformed its units; the service also made ongoing modifications to the nonemergency towing policy that had been instituted several years earlier, which lessened the Coast Guard’s and the Auxiliary’s SAR caseloads.

William C. Harr was born in Butte, Montana in 1924, but was raised in San Francisco, attending the University of San Francisco.  He served as a pilot during World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart due to injuries sustained when his plane was shot down during the battle for the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.  Harr returned to the States and established the Harvis Construction and Development Corporation that built commercial and real estate projects in California and Hawaii.  He joined the Auxiliary in 1975 and was also active in the Lions Club, Easter Seal Society, Elks Club, Police Athletic Club, Boys Club and the Sea Scouts.

Hawaiian Auxiliary and Coast Guard members fondly remembered Harr, especially for their training aboard his 41-foot cabin cruiser, Malama Kai.  Said fellow Auxiliarist Olive Deming, ‘He was stern about training but also polite about it. . . .All of us were trained very well; it was like clockwork.  We did so many exercises with the Coast Guard, a lot of rescues.’ A mission Deming particularly remembered was one during which Harr and crew ferried fuel and food to a Coast Guard cutter that had run out of fuel 18 miles offshore.  Active duty Coastguardsmen from local stations were always welcome on board Harr’s vessel and often shared in recreational activities.

Papa Harr died at his home on July 6, 2001.  He was survived by three biological daughters and their four grandchildren; and two hanai daughters.


PNACO Chris G. Lagen     PNACO Lagen 
1985-1986
Deceased

Christopher G. Lagen, a native of the Chicago area, attended Morgan Park Military Academy and Morgan Park College.  In his professional career, he became vice president of the Dixon Gallery of Homes, realtors in Napierville, Illinois.  He belonged to several realtors? associations and was active in the Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite-Valley of Chicago, the Medina Temple Shrine, and the U. S. Power Squadron.

Commodore Lagen joined the Auxiliary on January 1, 1969, and was appointed Flotilla staff officer for vessel examination the same year.  He later earned instructor and AUXOP qualifications.  Having risen through the elected ranks of his division, in 1974 and 1975, he served as District Vice Commodore and in 1978, he was elected 9WR District Commodore.  Then in 1980, he was elected National Rear Commodore-Central and in 1982 National Vice Commodore.

Throughout his Auxiliary career, Lagen was very active in promoting an increase in and retention of membership.  He activated Auxiliary Radio Chicago and had been the coordinator of operations for the Chicago Yacht Club Mackinac Race and the annual cruise for veteran Purple Heart awardees.

As national commodore, Lagen advocated balance in Auxiliary activities, pushing members to become active instructors and examiners, as well as in operations.  He set higher goals nationally under the Auxiliary's GAP management program and surveyed all elected officers to determine better ways to administer the Auxiliary, as a result overseeing a number of personnel changes.

During his Auxiliary career NACO Lagen was awarded: the Certificate of Administrative Merit, the Plaque of Exceptional Service to the U. S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Academy Honorary Admissions Officer Certificate.  In January 1987, he received the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award of its type the Commandant may award an individual who is not a Coast Guard employee.

Commodore Lagen passed over the bar on February 12, 1988.


PNACO Martin S. Herz     PNACO Herz 
1983-1984
Deceased

Martin S. Herz was another World War II veteran who accomplished much in his lifetime.  He received an engineering degree from the University of Virginia and was posted to bases in the West during World War II, including as post engineer of Love Field, home to the 5th Ferrying Group of the Army Air Corp Transport Command.  He remained in the Air Force Reserve, eventually retiring as a lieutenant colonel.  After the war he settled in Dallas, Texas, where he eventually became president and board chairman of the Bell Chemical Corporation and was particularly active in the Rotary Club.

Herz joined the Auxiliary in 1962, becoming an instructor and vessel examiner and earning the AUXOP rating in 1968.  Besides maintaining his facility, Su-Be III, he also kept fixed and mobile radio facilities.  Herz rose through the ranks and during 1976-77, he served as 8th CG District Commodore, the same years his district was voted the best district in the nation.  For his considerable leadership skills, Herz was awarded the Certificate of Administrative Merit.  After serving as rear and vice national commodore, he was voted national commodore for 1983-84.  During his terms, he brought management innovations, recognized by his award of the Department of Transportation's Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award.  Herz brought the Auxiliary to international attention when he represented the organization with the Coast Guard commandant at the International Lifeboat Conference in Sweden.  In 1984, Herz was awarded the August A. Busch III boating safety award, also known as the Michelob Schooner Award.

Continuing in service to boaters and the Auxiliary, Herz headed the 50th Anniversary committee in planning for the Auxiliary's silver celebration.  Largely due to his influence, the O. W. Martin, Jr. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Records Collection was established at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, in 1989.  Herz presided as the first president of the U. S. Boating Institute, serving on its board until his death.  He had also been active in the U. S. Power Squadron for many years.

Herz died on September 12, 1992.  He was survived by his wife, Josephine, and two daughters, three grandchildren, his mother and brother.  [Navigator, Winter 1992, pp. 2-3.]


PNACO Aime R. Bernard     PNACO Bernard 
1981-1982
Deceased

Aime R. Bernard was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and at some point moved to Hawaii and joined the Auxiliary.  Successively elected to offices in the 14th CG District, Bernard eventually assumed the office of district commodore.  Following he was elected National Rear Commodore-West and National Vice Commodore, serving under Dr. Horton.

During his tenure as national commodore, Bernard pressed the membership to enroll Auxiliarists who could commit proper time and energy to the demands of the organization.  Following the initial spike in new enrollees that occurred after legal authorization was afforded the Auxiliary to operate in sole state waters under the 1971 Boating Safety Act, a drop off in membership became apparent.  As Bernard stated in his column, the Auxiliary is not everyone's cup of tea, so choose prospective members wisely.  Bernard also stressed leadership and goal setting.  The job of the national officers was to "improve over-all product quality."

On September 30, 1981, NACO Bernard became one of the first Auxiliary head to testify before a Congressional committee, since the establishment of the Auxiliary in 1939, giving an accounting of the contributions the organization had made to the Coast Guard and the nation.  He stated that during the previous 5-year period, 42,769 Auxiliarists who employed 13,000 facilities (boats, aircraft, and radio stations) had saved 6,378 lives and assisted 105,457 persons whose property was valued at $1,932,822,400.  The operating cost per hour to the taxpayer of an Auxiliary facility was $8.47 and of an aircraft $18.00.


PNACO Dr. Robert L. Horton     PNACO Horton 
1979-1980

Dr. Robert L. Horton rose through the elected ranks of the "old" 2nd CG District eventually being elected to the position of district commodore.

During his tenure as National Commodore Horton adjusted formulae to make the GAP program goals more equitable and realistic, especially for high achieving units.  He established the Department of Vessel Examination and hired the first paid staff at the Auxiliary National Supply Center in St. Louis.  On his watch Auxiliary members of the 2nd CG District were the first allowed to be awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation for their provision of security for Pres. Jimmy Carter's vacation cruise down the Mississippi River.


PNACO J. Kevin Mitchell     PNACO Mitchell 
1977-1978
Deceased

J. Kevin Mitchell was a resident of Jackson, Mississippi at the time of his death on September 7, 2002.  Previous to being elected NACO, he had served under Anderson Cordill as national vice commodore.

During his tenure in the late 1970s, Mitchell presided over the largest membership ever in the Auxiliary: 47,000 members.  The growth during that decade was largely due to the incorporation of new flotillas founded on sole state waters, as first allowed under the boating act of 1971.  The search and rescue caseload had also skyrocketed.

Clearly attempting to gain better control over such expansion, Mitchell moved on a number of fronts: the “Area” concept was implemented, the main feature of which was the holding of area conferences; a new flotilla elected officer guide was drafted and issued; all existing manuals were completely revised and updated; improvements were made to the materials supply system.  Recognizing that CMEs were preventive SAR, Mitchell pushed for more members to become qualified as examiners and increase the number of examinations.  Organizational changes were also being made in the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary paralleled those to the extent possible, one of which was the promotion of the “Coast Guard family” concept which exists to this day.

Significantly, Mitchell noted the Auxiliary’s increased role in international boating safety, in his column in the Fall 1978 issue of the Navigator.  “Coast Guard missions are now international, with personnel in 15 countries and we are involved in or are a working part of more than 20 international organizations. . . .We respond to requests from countries around the world.”

Mitchell was married to Wynnifred Mitchell.



PNACO Anderson A. Cordill     PNACO Cordill 
1975-1976
Deceased

Anderson A. Cordell, who died on September 5, 1983, was known as the "Auxiliarist's Auxiliarist," with the self-professed goal: to serve.  "No job was ever too small or too large for Andy Cordell. . . .." Cordell was born on May 29, 1919, in Greeley, Colorado.  He served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps during World War II and after being mustered out, began a teaching career in the Logan County, California school system.  Later he rejoined the army as a civilian employee, becoming Acting Director for Services at the Sacramento Army Depot.

Cordell first joined the Auxiliary in July 1961, as a result of having attended a public education course.  He became a certified instructor, examiner, in communications, and as coxswain.  His wife, Helen, served as first mate aboard their facility Cloud 9.

Fulfilling his personal motto of service, Cordell was elected or appointed to virtually every position in the Auxiliary, becoming national commodore in 1974.  For his considerable administration skills, he was awarded the Certificate of Administrative Merit in 1972 and again in 1981.  He was also nominated for the August A. Busch [Michelob Schooner Award] Trophy for Outstanding Service in Boating.  Yet Cordell made his greatest contributions in his post-NACO career, as chief of the department of training, the post he held when he passed away.. .

As training chief Cordell was largely responsible for updating the Basic Qualification Guide that included a new student study guide, an instructor's guide, and an examination.  He also spearheaded the development of an advanced Weather Specialty Course and advised on the Leadership and Management Course.  For these substantial, professional efforts Cordell was awarded the prestigious Dept. of Transportation's Public Service Commendation in 1982. 


PNACO Harold B. Haney     PNACO Haney 
1973-1974
Deceased

Harold B. Haney, born in Unionville, Pennsylvania in 1909, earned B. S. and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, finally retiring from business as vice president of the large Haveg Industries in 1970. Even with increasing management responsibilities, he was active in community affairs that included serving as commodore of the Northeast River Yacht Club and in various elected and appointed positions in the then Third District. He was a charter member (1959) of Flotilla 17, Division 1, of Wilmington, Delaware. Later he served as district officer for operations and while commodore increased membership by 15 percent.

While serving as national rear commodore from 1971 to1972, Haney ushered in the current form of the public education program. He oversaw the development of the 12-lesson Boating Safety and Seamanship course, as well as the anticipated 7-lesson sailing course (egged on by the oil crisis of the early '70s). For this considerable achievement, he was awarded the Award of Administrative Merit and later the Michelob Schooner Award.

In 1973, Haney was elected national commodore, continuing his record of innovation. He reorganized the Auxiliary into east, west and central areas. The Stonington Recreational Area at the Coast Guard Academy was financed by Auxiliary donations. Later he helped develop the 6-lesson boating course and promulgate the new Water 'n Kids youth course. From 1977 to 1982, Haney served as the education department chief.

Haney died on December 12, 1997 at age eighty-eight. He was survived by co-auxiliarist Thelma Thomas Haney and a daughter. 


PNACO Harry S. Osbourn     PNACO Osbourn 
1971-1972
Deceased

Harry S. Osbourn, was born on November 9, 1911, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and passed over the bar, on November 2, 1978, having served as national commodore from 1971-72.  At the time of his election to district commodore (D13), Osbourn was a claims manager for the Portland (Oregon} General Electric Company, having lived in that city since boyhood.  He and his wife, Mary, docked their facility, Mema-Loose, on the Willamette River.  Osbourn joined the Auxiliary in 1953 and held all local offices, including Vice (1964) and District Commodore (1966).  At the time of his election as national commodore, Osbourn was living in Seattle, Washington.