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HALL OF HEROES
WALL OF GALLANTRY - 2012
  • Harry Hamlet thumb 
  • Robert Cromwell thumb 
  • George Thometz thumb 
  • Leroy Reinburg 48 thumb 
  • Charles Larkin thumb 
  • Robert Moss thumb 
  • Kwang Ping Hsu thumb 
  • Ernst Cummings thumb 
  • Thomas Pennington thumb 
  • Gerald McGill thumb 
  • William Turek thumb 
  • William Moeller thumb 
  • Harry Hamlet photo

    Harry G. Hamlet

    Captain
    Class of 1896

    Gold Lifesaving Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    While in command of USS Marietta in the Bay of Biscay on 28 April 1919, Captain Hamlet rescued a crew of 47 persons from the USS James which was sinking at sea. This rescue was made extremely difficult and hazardous owing to high seas, which threatened to send the two vessels crashing together. In effecting the rescue, Captain Hamlet displayed admirable seamanship.

     

    Captain Hamlet went on to serve as Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy and was later appointed as the seventh Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1932 to 1936. He later retired at the rank of Vice Admiral. Vice Admiral Hamlet was also the author of the Coast Guardsman’s Creed and the Mission of the Coast Guard Academy. (Download pdf) 

  • Robert Cromwell photo

    Robert P. Cromwell

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1941

    Bronze Star Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the Southwest Pacific Area from January to November 1945. As an Air Sea Rescue Instructor, Commander Cromwell exhibited exceptional technical knowledge incident to the development of an effective rescue service. He was instrumental in establishing and conducting a training program in the rescue units and assisted materially in initiating a successful procurement system for supplies. Through his outstanding professional knowledge, sound judgment, and unremitting devotion to duty, Commander Cromwell made a noteworthy contribution to the efficient operation of Air Sea Rescue Services.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Cromwell retired at the rank of Captain. (Download pdf) 

  • George Thometz photo

    George F. Thometz, Jr.

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1945

    Distinguished Flying Cross

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during the early morning of 24 December 1955, as pilot of a Coast Guard helicopter engaged in the rescue of men, women and children during the flood disaster at Yuba City, California. In spite of darkness, intermittent rain, and the necessity for operating dangerously close to tall trees, antennas, and other hazardous obstructions in the raging flood waters, Lieutenant Commander Thometz skillfully piloted the helicopter to the assistance of persons who were marooned in positions of extreme peril on roofs, automobiles, in trees, and elsewhere. On one mission he rescued fourteen children and adults from a housetop while hovering close to a dangerous obstruction. By his indomitable courage and determination over a period of twelve consecutive hours, despite his great fatigue, Lieutenant Commander Thometz successfully rescued sixty-six persons and evacuated them to places of safety. His expert airmanship, dauntless valor, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Thometz retired at the rank of Captain. (Download pdf) 

  • Leroy Reinburg 48 photo

    Leroy Reinburg, Jr.

    Commander
    Class of 1948

    Bronze Star Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For meritorious service while serving as Commanding Officer of USCGC Ponchartrain (WHEC- 70) from 25 February to 25 August 1970 during combat operations. Commander Reinburg displayed exceptional personal initiative and professionalism in directing his ship through five anti-infiltration patrols and forty-four naval gunfire support missions. During these periods, his outstanding and aggressive leadership resulted in grave damage being inflicted upon enemy troops and installations. He led his crew in delivering over 3,000 rounds of naval gunfire against enemy forces, thereby contributing greatly to the allied effort in Southeast Asia. Commander Reinburg’s leadership and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Commander Reinburg retired at the rank of Captain. (Download pdf) 

  • Charles Larkin photo

    Charles E. Larkin, Jr.

    Ensign
    Class of 1949

    Silver Lifesaving Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    For heroic action on the night of 7 December 1949, when he rescued from drowning a crew member who had slipped on the icy deck and fallen into the water between the dock and the USCGC Bibb, moored at the Coast Guard Base, Boston, Massachusetts. Ensign Larkin, without regard for his own personal safety and despite the below freezing temperature, went over the side hand over hand via a mooring line, dropped into the cold water, and grasped and held the unconscious seaman until a lifeline was lowered. He secured the line about the man, who then was hoisted aboard the ship. Ensign Larkin’s outstanding initiative and courage reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Ensign Larkin later served as the Coast Guard Academy Superintendent as well as the Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, before retiring at the rank of Vice Admiral. (Download pdf) 

  • Robert Moss photo

    Robert A. Moss

    Commander
    Class of 1951

    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 of USCGC Winona (WHEC-65) from 30 June to 17 October 1968 during combat operations against the enemy. Commander Moss’ personal initiative and sustained performance, marked by skillful professionalism, effectively sustained his ship through three anti-infiltration patrols and twenty Naval Gunfire Support missions. During these dangerous periods, his outstanding, aggressive leadership resulted in grave damage being inflicted upon enemy troops and installations. He led his crew in firing nearly two thousand rounds of ammunition against Communist insurgent forces, thereby contributing significantly to the United States’ mission in Vietnam. Commander Moss’ aggressive leadership and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Commander Moss retired at the rank of Captain. (Download pdf) 

  • Kwang Ping Hsu photo

    Kwang Ping Hsu

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1962

    Air Medal (Gold Star in lieu of a second)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    Lieutenant Commander Hsu is cited for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 10 April 1971 while serving as pilot of Coast Guard HH-52A 1384 helicopter engaged in the rescue of four injured persons, including two children, from an aircraft crash in the mountains near Orinda, California. Departing San Francisco in early morning darkness, Lieutenant Commander Hsu navigated by road map to the crash site and found it marked by one small red flare and a few flashlights. Although the crash site was in the shadow of the mountains making it difficult to distinguish the trees, rocks, and sheer cliffs, the urgency of the evacuation dictated an attempted landing. Lieutenant Commander Hsu skillfully maneuvered the helicopter in a demanding circling approach from 2,500 feet to a restricted landing on a small knoll that protruded from a sheer drop on three sides and a steep mountain wall on the other. Displaying expert aeronautical skill and aided only by the helicopter’s landing lights in reaching the landing site, he airlifted the severely injured survivor to a waiting ambulance. He then made three subsequent flights to the crash scene to remove the remaining survivors to safety. Lieutenant Commander Hsu’s remarkable ability, perseverance and initiative were instrumental in the timely rescue of the survivors. His courage, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Hsu retired at the rank of Captain. Captain Hsu was born in 1936 in Shantung Province in China and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was eleven years old. In 1962, he became the first native Chinese American to graduate from the Coast Guard Academy. In 1986, forty years after his family first fled the Japanese invasion and then the Chinese Communist Revolution, as Commander of Air Station Barber’s Point, Hawaii he flew a Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft to Beijing; the first visit by a U.S. military aircraft to Communist China since 1947. He led the U.S. delegation at the Beijing aerospace exhibition. Captain Hsu’s last act of gallantry was battling brain cancer at the leading edge of medical technology. He lost that battle in 2007. (Download pdf) 

  • Ernst Cummings photo

    Ernst M. Cummings

    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 from January to October 1966 while serving as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Grace, a unit attached to Division Thirteen, Coast Guard Squadron One in Southeast Asia. On 9 May 1966, upon detecting a sampan attempting to cross the Soi Rap River, Point Grace succeeded in capturing the sampan and three Viet Cong. The sampan contained rifles, ammunition, personal effects, and various other materials. Lieutenant Junior Grade Cummings personally interrogated the prisoners, utilizing a Vietnamese liaison officer as interpreter. As a result, valuable intelligence information was gained. In addition, Point Grace, during April and May 1966 under Lieutenant Junior Grade Cummings’ leadership, was engaged in MARKET TIME and GAME WARDER patrol duties. During this period Point Grace cruised a total of 6,828 miles, detected 2,483 junks, inspected or boarded 1,138 junks, and took into custody one suspect junk and three Viet Cong suspects. By his outstanding leadership qualities, intelligence and courageous response, Lieutenant Junior Grade Cummings upheld the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.

     

    Lieutenant Junior Grade Cummings retired at the rank of Captain. He also served as the 18th Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Barque Eagle. (Download pdf) 

  • Thomas Pennington photo

    Thomas R. Pennington

    Lieutenant
    Class of 1965

    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 2 April 1968 to 30 March 1969. Lieutenant Pennington served as Commanding Officer of United States Coast Guard Cutter Point Arden attached to Coast Guard Squadron One, Division Twelve from 15 April to 28 September 1968, and as Chief Staff Officer, Division Twelve from 28 September 1968 to 10 March 1969. He conducted an aggressive counter-infiltration effort and engaged in direct support of operations against the Viet Cong. As Commanding Officer of Point Arden, he initiated and implemented operational techniques and tactics making his command an effective MARKET TIME patrol craft. He conducted numerous naval gunfire support missions, resulting in the destruction of, or damage to, many Viet Cong junks, sampans and bunkers. On 4 September 1968, as a result of his skillful shiphandling and professional abilities, Point Arden was successfully guided through Typhoon Bess. During his assignment as Chief Staff Officer, Lieutenant Pennington dramatically increased the effectiveness and efficiency of the MARKET TIME mission by his timely and original recommendations. His diligent execution of his responsibilities afforded the stability necessary for an effective organization. Lieutenant Pennington’s outstanding leadership, professional abilities, and devotion to duty and untiring efforts to improve operations were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

     

    Lieutenant Pennington retired at the rank of Commander. (Download pdf) 

  • Gerald McGill photo

    Gerald A. McGill

    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Class of 1965

    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 with U. S. Naval Forces, Vietnam and as Commanding Officer, USCGC Point Welcome. Lieutenant Junior Grade McGill engaged in the interdiction of a Communist insurgent resupply ship on 1 March 1968. Utilizing his vessel’s capabilities to the maximum extent, displaying superb seamanship and courageous and determined leadership under fire, he contributed very significantly to driving the enemy vessel ashore resulting in its subsequent self-destruction. His magnificent use of his vessel’s weaponry resulted in numerous hits on the armed enemy ship, and the suppression of return fire and interdiction of enemy attempts to offload the cargo which consisted of at least 650 small arms and large quantities of heavy caliber automatic weapon and small arms ammunition. The subsequent capture of this cargo deprived the Communist insurgents of sorely needed arms and ammunition. Lieutenant Junior Grade McGill’s courage under fire, superb shiphandling and outstanding leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and United States Naval Service.

     

    Lieutenant Junior Grade McGill departed active duty and went on to pursue a law degree upon fulfillment of his service obligation. (Download pdf) 

  • William Turek photo

    William B. Turek

    Lieutenant Commander
    Class of 1972

    Coast Guard Medal (posthumous)

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    Lieutenant Commander Turek is cited posthumously for heroism on the afternoon of 3 March 1993 while serving as the Lead Marine Inspector aboard the Maritime Administrative vessel Cape Diamand, which was moored at Pier 1, Norfolk Shipbuilding Company, Norfolk, Virginia. Lieutenant Commander Turek was completing a week-long reactivation of the M/V CAPE DIAMOND and was intimately familiar with the vessel, especially the engineering spaces. One of the last tests prior to departure of the vessel was the carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system which protected the engine room and other spaces aboard the vessel. A test of the carbon dioxide activated alarms in the engine room. This test was designed to involve a small release of carbon dioxide into the engine room to show proper functioning of the alarms. Realizing that more than the anticipated brief puff of carbon dioxide was being released and that a prolonged discharge of carbon dioxide into the engine room was potentially lethal to those he knew were working there, Lieutenant Commander Turek disregarded his own safety and entered into the engine room to warn workers of the hazard. He immediately ordered them to evacuate. In his attempt to save others, Lieutenant Commander Turek himself became a victim of carbon dioxide asphyxiation, sacrificing his own life. Lieutenant Commander Turek demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue attempt. His courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Lieutenant Commander Turek completed over twenty years of honorable service. The Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer course commemorates the exemplary qualities of Lieutenant Commander Turek by presenting the Turek Award to the graduate of each class that goes above and beyond expectations for professionalism, integrity, and flexibility. (Download pdf) 

  • William Moeller photo

    William F. Moeller

    Ensign
    Class of 1990

    Coast Guard Medal

    For service as set forth in the following Citation:

     

    Ensign Moeller is cited for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1991 while leading the rescue team on board CGC Tamaroa during the daring rescue of four survivors from an Air National Guard (ANG) H-60 helicopter in what became known as “The Perfect Storm.” The ANG H-60 was forced to ditch because it could not refuel from a C-130 tanker due to the violent turbulence caused by the worst weather in more than 100 years. When a USCG H-3F helicopter could not hoist the ANG crew because the force of the wind was so strong the basket did not go down to the water, but went almost straight back into the tail rotor, the Tamaroa became their only hope. Ensign Moeller led a volunteer rescue team knowing the grim fact that he could lose his own life if he was washed overboard. As the seas towered above the bridge of the Tamaroa and the weather buoys reported wave heights of 100 feet, the Tamaroa did not have enough power to fight the storm and make a controlled approach to the men in the water. By turning beam to the seas and using their power, the Tamaroa was able to approach the ANG crew, but at a cost of taking 55-degree rolls. The rescue team could not even walk out to the bow; they crawled on their hands and knees. For almost two hours, Ensign Moeller and the others held their breath, as they were completely submerged in 56-degree water as the waves crashed on deck. With an incredible display of teamwork, all survivors were snagged in a cargo net and hauled aboard Tamaroa. If Ensign Moeller had not risked his life during the worst storm of the century, the survivors of the ANG H-60 would certainly have died. His courage and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

     

    Commander Moeller continues to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. (Download pdf)