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Honor Roll

 

On the basis of available documentation, including Navigator, district publications, newspapers, personal papers, interviews, copies of award citations, and other documents filed in the Coast Guard Auxiliary Records Collection, John Tilley and I have been able to identify:

  • four Auxiliarists who have received the Gold Lifesaving Medal
  • six who have earned the Silver Lifesaving Medal
  • and seventy recipients of the Plaque of Merit, or "A" Award

The following list of awardees varies in regard to descriptions of the rescues.  The reason for this is that in some cases the documentation reveals nothing beyond the name of the award recipient and the date; in others considerable detail regarding the act for which the award was conferred is available.  Any reader who can provide further information regarding the incidents described below, or documentation identifying additional award recipients, is invited to share that material with the history program of the Auxiliary.  The Auxiliary is anxious to give all due credit to those Auxiliarists who have earned some of the nation's highest honors for bravery.  Please contact Woody Simpson (jwsimp@msn.com) with any further information


Gold Lifesaving Medal

1. 1951. Erick Lundberg, 13th District.  On May 28, 1951, the fishing vessel Acme sank off Neskowin, Oregon.  Two survivors climbed to the top of the mast, the only part of the sunken vessel that protruded above the water.  Mr. Lundberg, who was tending his crab pots alone in his boat, Manatee, maneuvered through the heavy surf and rescued one of the survivors.  The other man was washed off the mast and drowned.

2-3. 1990 - Robert and Jean Colby, 9th District. On September 16, 1990, the gasoline tanker Jupiter caught fire at its mooring on the Saginaw River.  The Colbys took five crew members on board their 21-foot console, administered treatment for shock and hypothermia, and delivered the two men to an ambulance at the pier.  The Colbys then returned to the burning ship to help transfer two more men to a Coast Guard utility boat, and came back a third time to set up a safety zone.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Colby also received the Auxiliary Plaque of Merit and the Group Action Award.

4. 1997 - Frank Mauro, 7th District. On April 6, 1997, a 25-foot Bayliner collided with a barge moored at the 17th Street Causeway Bridge in Ft. Lauderdale.  Mr. Mauro was serving as a crew member on board CG Utility Boat 41351.  He jumped into the water and rescued four people - three adults and a young girl - by hauling them on board a Coast Guard rigid-hull inflatable that had arrived on the scene.


Silver Lifesaving Medal

1. 24 July 1966, CWO4 Raymond G. Pullen, USCG (ret.), CGAUX D7, when an active duty member of the Coast Guard (CWO2), while camping with his family and friends at Topsail Island, North Carolina observed two civilians stranded on a sandbar that was surrounded by high breaking surf approximately 75 yards from the Beach.  The men appeared too frightened to try to enter the surf even with a raft they were using for stability.  Pullen and friend, Paul W. Roethlinger, were able to instruct the men to move toward the point of the bar that angled nearest the beach.  Pullen and Roethlnger then entered the water with floatable cushions and a thin line to come to their assistance.  After swimming for a short while, Pullen and friend realized that they had been picked up by a riptide and had already passed over the bar and were being pulled out to sea.  After approximately three hours of floating, swimming and towing (Mr. Roethlinger had weakened), they finally observed and were able to gain a sandbar that was nearer to Topsail Beach.  They swam the final 200 yards to return to their families.  Due to misinformation, F/V Miss Sally and a CG lifeboat had suspended their searches.  Although the original two civilians had been retrieved by F/V Miss Sally, Messrs.  Pullen and Roethlinger put themselves at risk of life in coming to the assistance of the two civilians; indeed in all probability Mr. Pullen saved Mr. Roethlinger's life by towing him for long stretches of time through high swells while both were in near hypothermic conditions as the air and water had cooled near sunset.

2. 1972 - Robert Wolfe, 8th District.  Mr. Wolfe rescued four boys who had fallen off a homemade raft into the rain-swollen waters of Buffalo Bayou on March 21, 1972.

3. 1973 - John Hall Autry, 2nd District.  On the night of August 26, 1973, Mr. Autry rescued a 12-year-old boy who had fallen from a boat into the Mississippi.  Mr. Autry jumped into the water and kept the boy on the surface while they were swept downstream.  Eventually they were halted by a rock dike, and were pulled to safety by a pursuing boat.

4. 1979 - Dennis A. Thompson, 11th District.  While on a camping trip on March 18, 1979, Mr. Thompson rescued two men whose boat had capsized in a heavy surf two hundred yards off Sunset Park Beach, Calif.  The men were "near panic" and had no life jackets.  Mr. Thompson convinced them to stay with the debris from the boat rather than try to swim ashore.  He stayed with them till the surf and current took them to safety.

5. 1998 - Carl Woodard, 7th District.  On May 16, 1998, Mr. Woodard saved a 9-year-old boy from drowning in Santa Rosa Sound.

6. 1 September 2002, William J. Villanova of Port Chester, New York, 1st District Southern Region.  While on vacation with his wife at an inn in Rhode Island, Mr. Villanova "without hesitation" rushed from his hotel room to go to the aid of a victim caught in heavy surf off the beach area.  Lacking PFDs or flotation devices, Mr. Villanova and the victim were tossed about and pulled under several times by the rip tide.  Upon bringing the victim to safety, Mr. Villanova began CPR and revived the victim.


Coast Guard Auxiliary Plaque of Merit (A Award)

1. 1953 - Henry Irving, 12th District.  This earliest recorded presentation of the Plaque of Merit is noted in Whistling Buoy, the journal of the 12th District, with no details beyond the fact that Mr. Irving saved at least one life when two oil tankers exploded at Oleum, California.

2. 1953 - Miguel A. Colorado, 7th District.  At 2:00 a.m. on October 27, 1953, Mr. Colorado got a phone call at his home telling him that a boat had capsized near Caballo Blanco Reefs, Boca de Congrejos, Puerto Rico.  He went out in his outboard motorboat to look for survivors.  At daylight he located two of them on board the boat, took them on board his own boat, and brought them ashore to get medical attention.

3. 1956 - G.D. Scott, 8th District.

4. 1957 - Orville A. Fuller, 13th District.  On Sept. 10, 1957, Mr. Fuller rescued ten men from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge William T. Russell, which had sunk at Coos Bay, Oregon.

5. 1960 - Al A. Adams ll, 11th District.  On June 1, 1960, Mr. Adams was on board his docked boat at the Yacht Haven anchorage of the Cerritos Channel when a friend on board a nearby vessel hailed him that a burning boat, Queenie, was adrift in the anchorage.  Adams ran to a nearby pier, put a dinghy in the water, and rowed out to assist the owner of Queenie, Mr. E.A. Mayer, who had jumped overboard.  Adams took Mr. Mayer to the pier, and then rowed out to the burning boat again; it had drifted against several others.  Adams took it in tow with his dinghy.  After rowing a few yards he got help from Dr. Britt Dalby, who took him on board his yacht, Fonanda, and took over the tow.  Shortly after they cleared the anchorage, fireboats arrived and put the fire out.

6. 1961 - Charles R. Zeller, 1st District.  The 45-foot yacht Jolly Roger blew up at the gasoline dock at Happy's Yacht Basin in Brooklyn.  Mr. Zeller, at great personal risk, approached the burning boat and a teenaged girl, her clothing in flames, jumped into his arms.  He put out the flames on her clothes by submerging her in the water, then pulled her back onto the pier.  He then pulled several burning articles of clothing from a second victim, and rescued a third who was in the water clinging to a piling.  By then Jolly Roger's mooring lines had burned through.  Zeller, though badly burned himself, had the pier's gas pumps turned off at the main and supervised the retrieval of the drifting boat.  He then persuaded some dazed bystanders to call the fire department.  The firemen put out the remaining fire.

7. 1964 - Richard Eisenman, 1st District (SR).  On the stormy night of July 23-24, 1964, while serving as coxswain on patrol on Long Island Sound, New York, Eisenman assisted seven vessels in making port in high wind and sea conditions.  Two assists cited were: towing of schooner Heralda from danger near a stone jetty; bringing to safety two injured passengers off their sinking vessel that was in tow and safely grounding that vessel on a sheltered beach.  Eisenman?s search and rescue efforts lasted from 2000 to 0700.

8. 1967 - Wayne Johnson, 17th District.  On Sept. 18,1967, Mr. Johnson rescued a man from the distressed trawler AK 1056 A, which had run aground on Mendenhall Bar off Norway Point, Juneau, Alaska. T he Coast Guard Cutter Cape Coral was on the scene, but unable to get into the shoal water.  Mr. Johnson got alongside the trawler in his 36-foot boat, Norma Jane, with two Coast Guardsmen, LCDR John J. Cadigan and James J. Goesling, on board, to carry out the rescue.

9. 1967 - Herbert A. Brack, 1st District.  On Sept. 17, 1967, with his boat, Grand Slam, Mr. Brack rescued three people from a pair of overturned boats at the mouth of the Ipswich River during a storm in the vicinity of Hurricanes Chloe and Doria.  He also directed further rescue operations by means of his radio.

10. 1967 - Charles L. Long, II 11th District.  On January 15, 1967, Mr. Long and two crewmen in the 16-foot Boston Whaler So Long Darling helped the Coast Guard Cutter Ewing rescue and take in tow the 32-foot sloop Sinbad, which was in distress with two injured crewmen on board.

11. 1968 - Raymond R. George, 11th District.  On July 13, 1968, while on patrol in his boat, Del Ray, Mr. George rescued three people from a capsized sailboat.  After carrying the survivors ashore, he returned to the scene of the accident and towed the boat in.

12. 1968 - Roger O. Snowman, 1st District. On March 30, 1968, Mr. Snowman was working on board his boat when he heard cries for help.  A boy was floundering in the water 50 feet out.  Mr. Snowman jumped in and swam toward him.  By this time the boy had gone under.  Mr. Snowman found him on the bottom (the water was fifteen feet deep), pulled him up by his sweater, and got him safely on board a nearby barge.  The award citation does not identify the site of the incident.

13-14. 1969 - Warren W. Hewitt and Joseph W. Ram, 11th District.  On Feb. 26, 1969, during the flood disaster at Ventura Marina, a Coast Guard Boating Detachment boat had engine failure while trying to rescue three people from an overturned boat.  Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Ram cast off their 18-foot outboard and assisted.

15-17. 1969 - Henry Gibbons, William Bruce, and William Cox, 11th District.  The three Auxiliarists rendered assistance when a 30-foot cabin cruiser exploded at a fuel dock at Channel Islands Marina, May 30, 1969.  They removed two victims, despite the flames.

18. 1970 - John Nicholson, 1st District.  On August 8, 1970, Mr. Nicholson rescued two people from a heavy surf off Plum Island.  They were clinging to a capsized 22-foot sailboat.  Mr. Nicholson towed it and them to safer water.

19. 1968 - Richard T. Bothwell, 1st District.  On October 3, 1968, at the Lynn Harbor Yacht Club, a boat exploded.  Mr. Bothwell and two other club members jumped into a tender that was equipped with a fire extinguisher.  Having established that everyone on board the burning boat had already been taken ashore, they put out the fire.  Mr. Bothwell suffered first- and second-degree burns and smoke inhalation.

20. 1972 - David L. Lurie, Ist District.  On the afternoon of August 5, 1972, the 40-foot boat Action blew up while moored to a fueling barge in Manhasset Bay, New York.  Mr. Lurie moved his boat alongside and rescued three people.

21. 1972 - Betti Sue Klein, 7th District.  Though virtually everyone else in the community had evacuated, Mrs. Klein continued to operate her CB station on Alligator Point during Hurricane Agnes on June 18, 1972.

22-24. 1974 - Thomas J. Higgins, Ronald J. Gesci, and Brace H. Keyser, 9th District.

25. 1974 - Thomas M. Mulhall, 9th District.  On April 16, 1974, a tanker went aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  During an inspection operation a Coast Guard petty officer, Dennis Perry, apparently fell overboard.  Mr. Mulhall volunteered to assist in the diving operations to find him.  Mulhall made twenty dives in six days, to a depth of 100 feet.

26-29. 1974 - Aime R. Bernard, Frank Scott Powell, Charles Samper, and Wayne St. Morris, 14th District.  On Aug. 11, 1974, on board Mr. Powell's facility, Courtesy I, the three Auxiliarists attempted to rescue two young boys who were adrift in a rubber raft off Lanakai Beach, Oahu.  They launched their boat under difficult surge conditions that damaged its hull and propeller.  By the time they got to the point where the boys had been spotted, the Coast Guard radioed that the boys were close to shore and in safe waters.

30, 31. 1975 - Eric H. Vollmer and Harold R. Harris, 12th District.  On February 12, 1975, Mr. Vollmer and Mr. Harris took the distressed sailing vessel Yahoo in tow during a storm off Santa Cruz, California.

32. 1976 - Bernard Zanetti, 1SR.  During the height of the national bicentennial celebration on July 4, Bevacqua and Zanetti were on patrol on their well-known vessel, Suncat, on Eastchester Bay, Long Island Sound, New York, when they received their first call: a capsized sailboat with three persons on board.  Two persons were recovered, with the assistance of the crew of Suncat, and a third was found floating dead a few days later.  Shortly after the men proceeded to a second call: a fire had broken out on the stern of a boat where the crew had been barbecuing.  The Suncat crew put the fire out and proceeded on patrol.  Next they received a call of a grounded sailboat and gave assistance.  Moments after docking at their marina, thinking they’d call it a day, they turned to the sound of a loud explosion, to see the cabin of a cruiser being lifted off the hull.  More than six people were blown overboard, including a two-year-old baby.  The mother was brought on board semi-conscious with burns.  Zanetti observed the baby in the water going down for the second time.  He entered and swam through the burning debris and rescued the child.  All persons on the boat were recovered by the Suncat and other emergency crews.  For his heroic actions in saving the child, Zanetti was awarded the Plaque of Merit; Bevacqua received the award of Operational Merit, as his vessel was in danger of explosion due to the fire and heat condition.  In 1982, Bevacqua had received the Olin Marine Safety Award; in 2000, he received a second award of Operational Merit.  During his thirty year Auxiliary career, Bevacqua saved more than twelve persons’ lives; he had stopped counting.  He died in 2002.

33. 1976 - Horace D. Shinn, 7th District.  On July 16, 1976, Mr. Shinn rescued a family of three from a sinking homemade houseboat on Lake Okeechobee.

34. 1977 - Raymond M. Tousseau, 12th District.  On February 20, 1977, while on patrol in Santa Cruz Harbor in his boat, La Bonne Vie, Mr. Tousseau rescued three people from a capsized skiff 1500 yards offshore.

35. 1977 - Richard L. Law, 2nd District. On July 4, 1977, Mr. Law rescued a drowning swimmer on the Lewis and Clark Lake at Yorktown, South Dakota.

36. 1977 - Ronald W. Brown, 5th District.

37. 1978 - Harold A. Perrin, 8th District.  On December 2, 1978, on board his facility, The Duchess, Mr. Perrin went searching for an overdue boat, a 12-foot outboard whose 65-year-old owner was known to have a history of heart problems.  It was a dark and foggy night.  Perrin took his boat down narrow Bedico Creek and the Tangipahoo River, frequently bumping along from one bank to the other.  He anchored his boat and proceeded on foot for half a mile.  Mr. Perrin located the missing fisherman lying on the beach in an extremely weakened condition and suffering from hypothermia due to the cold temperature, wind, and wet clothing.  Mr. Perrin built a fire, then returned to Duchess and notified the Coast Guard.  When a Coast Guard boat arrived, Mr. Perrin led the Coast Guard personnel back through the swampy shoreline to where the fisherman waited by the fire.

38-39. 1978 - John T. and Suzanne Engle, 1st District.  On July 3, 1978, Mr. and Mrs. Engle rescued the three-person crew of the 24-foot runabout Elan when it broke down off the north shore of Long Island.

40. 1978 - Robert C. Chapman, 2nd District.  On March 18, 1978, Mr. Chapman responded to a call for assistance from the Police Department of Sioux City, Iowa, in locating a 12-year-old boy who had disappeared into a conduit at Perry Creek on an ice floe.  Mr. Chapman entered the conduit in a 10-foot boat and found the boy about eighty feet inside, clinging to debris.  Due to the strong current, Mr. Chapman was unable to reach the boy, but shouted his location to firemen who, with the aid of safety lines, were able to effect a rescue.  The current continued to sweep Mr. Chapman through the conduit, in total darkness, toward the outlet and the Missouri River.  At the end of the conduit, the boat plunged over a drop-off which threw him overboard and demolished the boat.  Mr. Chapman was wearing a life jacket and, with the help of some onlookers, was able to make it to the shore.

41. 1979 - Richard B. Cox, 12th District.  On March 26, 1979, on patrol duty in Morro Bay, California, in his boat Refuge II, Mr. Cox monitored a radio conversation between the Coast Guard Cutter Cape Hedge and what was described as a disabled 15-foot boat with three people on board.  Mr. Cox told the Cape Hedge crew that the Refuge II would take the distress call.  The distressed vessel turned out to be a 20-foot runabout with eight people on board.  Refuge II had just passed a towline when four large "sleeper" waves, estimated at 20 feet high, struck and capsized both boats.  Mr. Cox got ashore with help from his PFD; he immediately waded through the surf to get one of the survivors from the other boat.

42. 1979 - George G. Hart, Div. VI, 11th District.  On March 26, 1979, while on board his facility, Mr. Hart rescued a survivor from a disabled 20-foot boat, despite the fact that his own boat had just capsized in the swell, leaving him with several cracked ribs.

43-44. 1979 - James Clement and Robin Smith, 17th District.  On May 28, 1979, Mr. Clement was skipper and Smith was serving as crew of the Auxiliary Facility Lively Lady.  (The other crew members were their wives, Jennine Clement and Linda Smith.)  They were returning to Seward, Alaska after a 6-hour SAR mission when they got a radio message that three men had been seen clinging to an overturned, half-submerged skiff in Resurrection Bay.  Lively Lady went to the rescue, and Mr. Clement and Mr. Smith took a 10-foot rubber raft into the shallows.  They had to make two trips to rescue all three men and get them to a hospital, where all three were treated for advanced hypothermia.  Mrs. Clement and Mrs. Smith were presented with the Auxiliary B Award.

45. 1979 - Bolling Douglas, 7th District.  While on patrol on a local Georgia lake, Mrs. Douglas, a marine surveyor by trade, and crew received a call stating that a boat had caught fire at a nearby marina.  The Auxiliary facility sped to the scene where the enflamed boat was at the dock with many others nearby and a restaurant terrace within yards.  Mrs. Douglas and her crew were able to get a line secured to tow the burning boat further out into the harbor, away from other boats and boaters.  Just as they released the line to let the boat drift out of the marina, it exploded.  For their daring action the members of Mrs. Douglas’s crew were awarded the Plaque of Merit.

46. 1980 - Leo A. Braun, 11th District.  On April 20, 1980, Mr. Braun was serving as a crew member on board the Auxiliary facility Dorothy B. off Marina Del Ray when it received a distress call from a boat that had capsized on the seaward side of the detached breakwater.  Four men had gone overboard from the boat and were being swept toward the jagged rocks of the breakwater.  Dorothy B. backed down toward the scene and Mr. Braun climbed onto the swimstep at her stern.  The boat was pitching so badly that he was frequently submerged to a depth of three feet.  He dragged one of the survivors into the boat.

47. 1980 - Kenneth A. Anderson, 7th District.  After the sinking of the Coast Guard buoy tender Blackthorn in Tampa Bay on January 28, 1980, Mr. Anderson, a certified diver, made five dives to the wreck during a period of fifteen hours.  He helped recover the bodies of four of the twenty-three Coast Guardsmen who drowned in the tragedy.

48. 1980 - James R. Benes, 8th District.  On June 15, 1980, Mr. Benes was a crew member on board the facility Denny D., which was en route to assist a grounded vessel among the trees along the northeast shore of Lake Dallas.  Someone else on board Denny D. spotted a small inflatable yellow raft with a 14-year-old girl on it, struggling in the 25-knot wind and 2-foot seas.  As Denny D. approached the girl fell off the raft.  Mr. Benes, wearing a life jacket and carrying a seat cushion, jumped into the water and swam 50 feet to the girl.  He then kept her afloat until a small runabout picked them up.

49-50. - 1982 - Geraldine and Milton R. Entwistle, 11th District.  On the night of April 23, 1982, on board their boat, Searcher, Mr. and Mrs. Entwistle rescued three swimmers from an 8-foot surf off Black Point, Calif.

51. 1982 - Yvonne E. Taylor, 1301 District.  On July 16, 1982, on board her boat, Bonnie T., at the mouth of the Siuslaw River, Mrs. Taylor saw a boat capsize and rescued two survivors.  The swells were six feet and the wind sixteen knots.

52. 1982 - James Toth, 2nd District.  On Sept. 6, 1982, on Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, Mr. Toth and his wife, Lois, picked up a "Mayday" call from a burning pontoon boat with six people on board.  Mr. Toth put out the fire with the extinguisher from his boat.  He and Mrs. Toth rescued five of the six people (who had jumped overboard); the sixth was picked up by a passing runabout.  Mrs. Toth was presented with the B Award.

53. 1986 - Robert L. Dixson, 2nd District.  On the evening of July 11, 1986, Mr. Dixson rescued an 11-year-old girl who had fallen from a floating fuel dock into the Missouri River at Omaha, Nebraska.

54. 1987 - Richard P. Cash, 9th District.  On June 29, 1987, Mr. Cash rescued two children who had jumped overboard from a boat that had exploded off South Haven Michigan.  He rescued a third survivor, but she died despite his giving her CPR.

55. 1989 - Robert M. Allan, Jr., 11th District.  On July 8, 1989, Mr. Allan rescued an infant from the burning 45-foot cruiser Sharper Image.  Mr. Allan was in a weak physical state at the time, having recently undergone open-heart surgery.

56-58. 1989 - George C. Wilkins, Charles Fankboner, and Meyer Goo, 10th District.  On November 6, 1989, the Auxiliary Facility Lucky Lil was on patrol off Keakole Point, Hawaii, with Mr. Wilkins as skipper and Mr. Fankboner and Mr. Goo as crewmen.  The facility responded to a call for help from the 30-foot pleasure boat Windy L, which was adrift 28 miles northwest of Keakole Point, Hawaii.  Despite a 30-knot wind with gusts to forty knots and seas of eighteen feet, they managed to hook up a towline and tow the distressed vessel to safety.

59. 1991-David E.Weber, 17th Dist.  On the night of November 26, 1991, in driving snow and marginal sea conditions, Mr. Weber took his boat, Quanah P, into Cook Inlet, Alaska, to rescue two survivors from the pleasure boat Amanda B.  He found the boat adrift sixteen miles offshore.  Several Coast Guardsmen were on board Quanah P. to serve as crew; they managed to pass a towline.  The two people on board Amanda B. were transferred, and the Quanah P., with the Amanda B. in tow, took them to the small boat harbor.

60. 1990 - Jean Colby, 9th District.  On May 18, 1990, Mrs. Colby and her husband, Robert, were on patrol when they picked up a distress call regarding two men alongside a capsized boat on Saginaw Bay.  Using extreme skill, Mrs. Colby entered the water and approached one 300-pound man who initially was tied to the bow of the boat and unconscious.  When Mrs. Colby untied the line, he became alert and tried to climb up her, submerging her.  She forced him away from her and was able to get a life ring between them.  The man then calmed and she pulled him to the boat.  The crew of a Coast Guard boat rescued the other man.  (Mr. and Mrs. Colby both received Gold Lifesaving Medals, A and Group Action Awards for their actions on September 16, 1990, as described above.)

61-62. 1990 - Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colby, 9th District.  The couple both received Plaques of Merit and Group Action Awards along with their Gold Life Saving Medals for their actions on September 16, 1990, as described in Life Saving Medals section above.

63-65. 1994 - 8th District Coxswain F. Darrell Middleton and crewman James M. “Mack” Price, two navy veterans, along with student Evan Davies, were called to duty in Middleton’s 22-foot facility, Sea Search, in the early evening of 18 October 1994.  Several days of heavy rain and continuing level 5 thunderstorms had flooded the San Jacinto River whose waters were gushing into Houston’s eastern subdivisions.  Middleton and crew guided their low-draft vessel by flashlight, through eddies, whirlpools, and unpredictable currents, skillfully avoiding floating debris; tree limbs; snakes; submerged fire hydrants, mailboxes, and parked cars; downed power lines, and other obstructions.  They plucked hypothermic victims, many in nightclothes clutching their pets, from rooftops and cartops.  Over the course of seventeen hours, the Auxiliary crew evacuated nineteen people and eight animals.  At 1030 on 19 October they finally ramped their vessel onto their trailer from a flooded highway.  As they loaded their boat, news came over the radio that the San Jacinto had erupted into flames from submerged ruptured gas lines, all along the evacuation route they had just left.  In his citation, coxswain Middleton was cited for his adept seamanship and calm professionalism.

66-67. 2001 - Mr. and Mrs. Randy Ross, 8th District.  While performing maintenance on his facility, on June 17, Ross received a call from the local county emergency center stating that a paddleboat with three persons on board had capsized in the flooded, debris-riddled Big Sioux River.  Ross and his wife immediately got underway and soon reached the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers a few miles upstream.  Moments later they sighted Glenn Montreuil clinging to his overturned boat that was lurching downstream in the swift current.  Ross drove his boat to come parallel to Montreuil.  Mrs. Ross opened the gunwale door and pulled him aboard.  Montreuil informed them that his wife and her uncle were located upstream stranded in a tree in the river.  Upon arrival at the large cottonwood, Ross approached bow on, holding his vessel to the trunk to enable to the two persons to board.  Mrs. Ross encouraged and helped the victims to safety.  As the Rosses proceeded to a nearby launch ramp, they treated the victims for hypothermia.  After beaching their boat on the ramp, the three persons were quickly delivered to a waiting ambulance crew.

68-70. 2005 – Jeremiah Ray, coxswain, and Terry Minton and Thomas Shook, crewmen, of AUXFAC George P. Ray, Flotilla 18, Possession Sound, Washington, responded to a request for assistance from Group Seattle at 1930 on 15 January 2005.  They entered the waters of the Snohomish River on a dark cold night (temperatures in the 20 degree range), experiencing snow, sleet, and rain conditions, ca. 15 knot winds, and a strong tide and current.  They were in search of 2 adults and 1 child whose small boat had grounded on mud flats after an electrical fire.  Proceeding through 3-foot waves with very low and difficult visibility while on the lookout for deadheads and crab pots, they located the victims and towed their vessel to safety.  The length of time registered for the case was ca. 6 hours.  All three Auxiliarists were awarded the Plaque of Merit.

[Sources: This material is edited from John A. Tilley’s, The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary: A History, 1939-1999; more awardees have been added. -- C. Kay Larson, BC-ASH, May 2007]