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HALL OF HEROES
WALL OF GALLANTRY - 2010
  • Clarence Peterson thumb 
  • Richard Burke thumb 
  • Charles Scharfenstein thumb 
  • Norman Venzke thumb 
  • Thomas Finnegan thumb 
  • David Brostrom thumb 
  • Roger Hassard thumb 
  • Arthur Katz thumb 
  • Charles Mosher thumb 
  • Barham Thomson thumb 
  • Harry Godfrey thumb 
  • James McEwen thumb 
  • Clarence Peterson photo

    Clarence H. Peterson

    Captain
    Class of 1925

    Silver Star Medal

    For service set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Commander of a Task Unit of Landing Ships Tanks (LST’s) during action against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on December 26, 1943 and at Saidor, New Guinea, on January 2, 1944. Subjected to a withering hostile air attack during departure from the beach at Cape Gloucester, Captain Peterson fought his command aggressively and inflicted severe losses upon the enemy with a minimum of damage to his own units. A cool and proficient leader despite extremely difficult conditions, he skillfully organized and guided succeeding echelons throughout the vital resupply of these two important strongholds, successfully coordinating and executing the movements of his task group and carrying out his hazardous missions without the loss of a single ship. Captain Peterson’s expert seamanship and tenacious devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Captain Peterson also earned a Bronze Star for his actions while commanding a unit of 36 LST’s in the South Pacific. Captain Peterson retired at the rank of Rear Admiral after more than 30 years of service. (Download pdf) 

  • Richard Burke photo

    Richard L. Burke

    Lieutenant
    Class of 1927

    Distinguished Flying Cross

    For service as set forth in the following Summary:

     

    On 13 June, 1933, Lieutenant Burke piloted the seaplane ADHARA from the Coast Guard Air Station at Gloucester, MA to the fishing trawler Shawmut through fog and rain to rescue a severely injured seaman. Able to navigate solely on radio bearings due to the adverse weather, Lieutenant Burke deftly piloted the seaplane to a position 130 miles offshore. Once on scene, heavy swells around the vessel made the landing and takeoff of the seaplane exceedingly perilous. Lieutenant Burke was able to successfully land the seaplane, load the injured seaman onto the plane and takeoff enroute to Boston airport. Once the seaplane had safely landed at the airport, a waiting ambulance carried the injured seaman to the Unites States Marine Hospital where his life was saved due to prompt medical attention.

     

    Lieutenant Burke was a Coast Guard aviation pioneer who later served as the Chief, Aviation Division of the Coast Guard before retiring at the rank of Captain after more than 20 years of service. (Download pdf) 

  • Charles Scharfenstein photo

    Charles F. Scharfenstein

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1941

    Bronze Star Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For heroic service as Commanding Officer of USS LCI(L) 87, Flagship of LCI(L) Flotilla TEN, during the initial invasion on the coast of France, June 6, 1944. Under heavy enemy fire, Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant) Scharfenstein took station close to the shore on the early morning of D-Day and, throughout the bitterest part of the fighting, efficiently assisted in the reorganization, grouping and dispatching of craft to the beach. During the night, he maneuvered his ship close to the beach in an effort to maintain the flow of men, ammunition and supplies to the beach despite the danger of enemy gunfire, air attack, submerged mined obstacles and sunken wrecks. His expert shiphandling, courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Scharfenstein also served in anti-submarine and coastal protection patrols at various stations on the eastern seaboard and went on to serve as the Eleventh District Chief of Staff before retiring at the rank of Captain after 30 years of service. (Download pdf) 

  • Norman Venzke photo

    Norman C. Venzke

    Commander
    Class of 1950

    Legion of Merit (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as Fourth Coastal Zone Advisor, Commander Gulf of Thailand Surveillance Group and Commander Coast Guard Division ELEVEN from 6 April 1967 to 4 April 1968. Under his able and inspiring leadership, Navy and Coast Guard vessels compiled an impressive record in MARKET TIME counter-infiltration operations and in support of friendly forces ashore. By use of small boats and shore observation teams, Commander Venzke extended the scope of coastal surveillance operations into previously inaccessible areas. By maintaining continual liaison with all United States and Republic of Vietnam forces in his area of responsibility and by making maximum use of all forces under his operational control, he was able to provide urgently needed naval gunfire and logistic support to these forces ashore. His outstanding ability to work with people of other services and other nations led to significant improvements in operations of Vietnamese Navy forces and establishment of a combined program for training Vietnamese crews in operation of Navy patrol craft. He was constantly alert to improve material and security conditions at An Thoi, and his perseverance and ingenuity led to major improvements in the airfield and piers, thereby permitting supplies to move in and out efficiently. He worked closely with advisors to the prisoner of war camp and instituted a plan whereby his naval units provided effective gunfire support to the camp in the event of an attack. His aggressive leadership, professionalism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Commander Venzke later served as Chief of Operations before retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral after 35 years of service. (Download pdf) 

  • Thomas Finnegan photo

    Thomas W. Finnegan

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1957

    Distinguished Flying Cross

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 31 December 1968 as pilot of a Coast Guard HH-52A helicopter engaged in the rescue of a stranded hunter from Sand Island, near Bridal Veil, Oregon. Blowing snow, 65-knot winds, poor visibility and air temperatures near zero prevented a rescue by vessel or helicopter on the first day. On the second day, despite continuously severe weather, Lieutenant Commander Finnegan hovered the aircraft between 10 and 50 feet above the Columbia River and air taxied to the island navigating by spotting surface aids. On the second pass, one man was sighted leaning against a tree with the other hunter in a prone position. Lacking a clear area for the hoist in the vicinity of the victims, he skillfully maneuvered the helicopter approximately 60 yards upwind and hovered while the copilot was lowered to the ground. Constantly searching for a hoisting area, he maneuvered downwind while his crewman guided the copilot to the location of the men by hand signals. Locating a clearing about 50 yards further downwind, the copilot was again guided by hand signals to this spot in company with the lone survivor who was suffering from severe exposure and frostbite in both legs. Lieutenant Commander Finnegan held his position despite the severe weather while the hunter was hosted to safety. After ascertaining that the other hunter had died and the copilot was safely hoisted, Lieutenant Commander Finnegan departed the scene, flying in heavy ice and rapidly deteriorating weather. Lieutenant Commander Finnegan displayed expert airmanship and dauntless valor throughout this perilous mission. His aeronautical skill, courage, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Finnegan retired at the rank of Commander after 20 years of service. After retirement, Commander Finnegan continued flying until 2002, pursuing a career in EMS helicopters. (Download pdf) 

  • David Brostrom photo

    David C. Brostrom

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1963

    Bronze Star Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For meritorious service as Commanding Officer of USCGC Point Welcome, a unit attached to Division TWELVE, Coast Guard Squadron ONE, from 29 April to 11 August 1966. During this time, Point Welcome, assigned to the U.S. Navy Coastal Surveillance Force engaged in Operation MARKET TIME, conducted vigilant and aggressive patrols along the hostile northern coastline of the Republic of Vietnam to prevent infiltration of forces and supplies to the Viet Cong. Lieutenant (junior grade) Brostrom was directly instrumental in developing a highly-disciplined and efficiently trained crew which gallantly sustained the mistaken and tragic attack by three friendly aircraft during the early morning hours of 11 August 1966. Despite the fact that not one man on board escaped injury from the intense machine-gun fire, the cutter’s surviving crew of nine men carried out their duties in accordance with the high standard and esprit established by Lieutenant (junior grade) Brostrom and saved the vessel from destruction. By his outstanding leadership and inspiring devotion to duty, Lieutenant (junior grade) Brostrom upheld the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.

     

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Brostrom was killed in the line of duty on 11 August 1966. (Download pdf) 

  • Roger Hassard photo

    Roger W. Hassard

    Lieutenant
    Class of 1963

    Bronze Star Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Gammon from March 1966 to March 1967. On 1 January 1967, while on MARKET TIME patrol in the South China Sea off An Xuyen Province, Point Gammon intercepted radio traffic from an inshore patrol PCF which had engaged, and been partially disabled by an infiltrating enemy steelhulled trawler. Point Gammon immediately proceeded to the scene, detected the trawler, and closed it, challenging as she approached the trawler. PCF 68 arrived on scene almost simultaneously with Point Gammon and as Point Gammon illuminated the trawler and PCF 68 fired warning shots, the trawler took PCF 68 under fire. A running fire fight ensued with the enemy vessel taking both Point Gammon and PCF 68 under intense machine gun fire. In a team effort, both units raked the enemy with .50 caliber machine gun fire, and with Point Gammon providing mortar illumination, PCF 68 took the trawler under direct mortar fire, setting the enemy afire with a direct hit. As a result of damage inflicted by the patrol units, the flaming enemy trawler exploded and sank. This outstanding action was successfully prosecuted without personnel casualties or damage to Point Gammon. Further actions conducted by Point Gammon resulted in a number of hostile junks destroyed, several enemy structures destroyed and damaged, and other significant losses to the enemy. Lieutenant Hassard’s contributions to the coordination of MARKET TIME inshore units, while assigned to Coastal Surveillance Center, Vung Tau, have been instrumental in improving the effort against the Viet Cong. Lieutenant Hassard’s intelligent and courageous response, cool demeanor under fire, and unyielding dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Lieutenant Hassard went on to obtain advanced degrees in electrical engineering and business administration and served in numerous electrical engineering positions with an emphasis in radionavigation (LORAN-C). Lieutenant Hassard retired at the rank of Commander. (Download pdf) 

  • Arthur Katz photo

    Arthur E. Katz

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1963

    Bronze Star Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For meritorious service while serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Cypress, a unit attached to Division THIRTEEN, Coast Guard Squadron ONE from December 1965 to September 1966. On 24 March 1966, the Point Cypress engaged a Viet Cong junk attempting to cross the Soi Rap River. During the ensuing fire fight, seven Viet Cong were killed in action and three captured along with a quantity of small arms, ammunition and documents. On 16 June 1966, Lieutenant (junior grade) Katz requested and obtained permission to conduct a radar surveillance patrol off the mouth of the Co Chien River. During the early morning hours, three junks were detected. The junks were then illuminated and warning shots were fired across the bow of the lead junk. A vicious fire fight then ensued with the Point Cypress in the middle of it. By utilizing the Point Cypress as strategically as possible, Lieutenant (junior grade) Katz was able to bring all five .50 caliber mounts to bear on all three junks. The well-disciplined and accurate fire by Point Cypress severely damaged two of the junks and caused the total destruction of the third junk, which blew up with a tremendous secondary explosion. Three Viet Cong were killed in action during this action. Both of these outstanding performances were accomplished without personnel casualties to U.S. forces. In addition, the Point Cypress, under Lieutenant (junior grade) Katz’s leadership, has from April to September 1966 been engaged in MARKET TIME and GAME WARDEN patrol duties. During this period the Point Cypress has cruised a total of 17,448 miles, detected 1,413 junks, inspected or boarded 1,084 junks, taken into custody two Viet Cong suspects, and participated in seven gunfire support missions. By his outstanding leadership qualities, resourcefulness, initiative, and aggressive action against enemy forces, Lieutenant (junior grade) Katz upheld the highest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.

     

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Katz resigned his commission in 1967. Mr. Katz is the Chief Executive Officer of his own executive recruiting company in Atlanta, Georgia and sits on the Boards of several non-profit organizations. (Download pdf) 

  • Charles Mosher photo

    Charles B. Mosher

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1963

    Silver Star Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Grey (WPB 82324), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in MARKET TIME operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts around the mouth of the Co Chien River on 10 May 1966. While on patrol, POINT GREY detected a trawler carrying over 100 tons of ammunition, arms, and supplies to Viet Cong forces and forced her to ground in shoal water close to shore. For several hours POINT GREY laid down an effective, intermittent barrage along the shore to prevent Viet Cong forces from removing the trawler’s cargo. Lieutenant (junior grade) Mosher twice drove his cutter through a withering blast of enemy gunfire in attempts to put a boarding party on the trawler. He ceased these valiant attempts to secure the trawler only after three of his crewmembers were wounded. He then joined with newly arrived friendly forces in destroying the enemy vessel and confiscating part of its cargo. Lieutenant (junior grade) Mosher’s outstanding leadership and professional skill were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Mosher retired at the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1983 and served more than 21 years as a Coast Guard civilian in the Aids to Navigation Division in Headquarters, retiring in 2005 after a total of 47 years of Government service. (Download pdf) 

  • Barham Thomson photo

    Barham F. Thomson, III

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1963

    Silver Star Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Slocum (WPB 82313), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in MARKET TIME operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts around the mouth of the Co Chien River on 20 June 1966. Point Slocum went to the assistance of Coast Guard Cutter Point League, which was engaged in a fierce fire fight with a vessel attempting to infiltrate 100 tons of arms and ammunition to the Viet Cong. Upon arrival on the scene, Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomson found that the infiltrator had been forced aground by Point League and that Viet Cong forces concealed on the shore were attempting to drive off the cutter so that the cargo could be retaken. When friendly air support arrived, he made passes close to the shoreline in order to draw enemy fire and force the Viet Cong to disclose their positions to the aircraft. During these valiant maneuvers, Point Slocum received several hits from small arms fire and two near misses from recoilless rifles. When the grounded trawler was set afire, Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomson put Point Slocum along side and proceeded to extinguish the fire. His bravery and skill in risking his vessel, first to draw the enemy fire, and then to save the captured ship and its cargo greatly contributed to the United States efforts against insurgent forces in the Republic of Vietnam and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.

     

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomson retired at the rank of Captain after more than 20 years of service. (Download pdf) 

  • Harry Godfrey photo

    Harry J. Godfrey, III

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1967

    Bronze Star Medal (with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For meritorious service while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam from September 1969 to August 1970. While serving as Commanding Officer of United States Coast Guard Cutter Point Cypress, Lieutenant (junior grade) Godfrey participated in numerous MARKET TIME patrols and engaged the enemy on seventeen occasions. His aggressive leadership, initiative and sound judgment made his vessel a highly effective combat unit which carried out all phases of MARKET TIME operations. While averaging over seventy percent time underway, he traveled over fourteen thousand miles in counter-infiltration patrols aimed at preventing the transportation of enemy men and material at sea by conducting board and search operations. During those patrols, he boarded and searched numerous junks and sampans and apprehended forty-nine Viet Cong suspects. He constantly pursued the enemy and inflicted heavy losses on them during eighty-nine naval gunfire support missions which resulted in one hundred seven enemy structures and sixty-four sampans damaged or destroyed. When his vessel was selected for Vietnamization, he skillfully directed the small craft assets training and turnover of resources program culminating in that unit being transferred to the Vietnamese Navy. Lieutenant (junior grade) Godfrey’s professionalism, exemplary leadership and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Godfrey resigned his commission in 1971 and subsequently served 25 years as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a 1986 graduate of the National War College. (Download pdf) 

  • James McEwen photo

    James A. McEwen

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1980

    Distinguished Flying Cross

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    Lieutenant Commander McEwen is cited for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 21 November 1994 while serving as Aircraft Commander and On Scene Commander aboard HH-65A helicopter CGNR 6588. The aircrew was launched from Air Station Corpus Christi to rescue three severely burned victims from an exploded oil rig 30 miles offshore of Corpus Christi. The explosion turned the rig into a mass of twisted, burning metal making it impossible to land on the rig’s severely damaged helipad, requiring Lieutenant Commander McEwen to hoist the rescue swimmer and victims from a precarious position between the rig’s crane and the still burning remains of the destroyed helipad. Lieutenant Commander McEwen bravely maneuvered the helicopter into position with its radome just inches away from the crane and the fenestron tucked under the helipad, the rotor arc within a few feet of the crane’s arm. Lieutenant Commander McEwen pushed the aircraft to its limits in the 150-foot, high gross weight, rock steady hover, allowing the flight mechanic to place the rescue swimmer aboard the rig and subsequently retrieve one of the victims from the burning wreckage. Immediately after the flight mechanic maneuvered the very large victim into the cabin, Lieutenant Commander McEwen directed another aircraft into position and departed the scene to deliver the badly burned victim to the local trauma center. He quickly refueled and returned to the scene to again weave the helicopter into the same dangerous and precarious position to hoist the last victim. Lieutenant Commander McEwen’s actions, aeronautical skill, and valor were instrumental in the rescue of three people. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant Commander McEwen retired at the rank of Commander after 20 years of service having been stationed aboard CGC Duane, Naval Air Training Pensacola, Air Station Brooklyn, CG Aviation Training Center Mobile, Air Station Corpus Christi, and Air Station Traverse City. (Download pdf)