and Geodetic Survey/ Office of Marine and Aircraft Operations/
National Ocean Survey
Exceptional Service Award
Wargo, Washington, D. C. -- For courageous competence in the
protection of his fellow workers by apprehending an armed man
during a tragic incident on September 16, 1955.
Exceptional Service Award
J. Hager, Shipboard, Cordova, Alaska -- For heroic action involving
jeopardy of life in saving a shipmate from drowning at Cordova,
Alaska, on July 6, 1957.
Exceptional Service Award
M. Beal, Norfolk, Virginia -- For heroic action involving jeopardy
Exceptional Service Award
L. Brown, Anchorage, Alaska -- For heroic action involving jeopardy
of life in the rescue of a fellow employee.
Johnson, Norfolk, Virginia -- For heroic action involving jeopardy
of life in the rescue of a coworker from a near-drowning.
Exceptional Service Award
Mission 375, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska -- The members of Photographic
Mission 375 are: Robert L. Sandquist, Pilot; Robert W. Franklin,
Copilot and Navigator; and Jim L. Hardwick, Photographer. They
are cited for heroic action beyond the call of duty. On August
7, 1965, their unusually fine teamwork, initiative, and competence
quickly effected the rescue of three civilian fliers and a young
boy whose aircraft crashed on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.
(j.g.) Robert C. Husted, Jr., NOAA Ship McARTHUR, Ketchikan,
Alaska -- At approximately 6:00 A.M. on October 26, 1969, in
Ketchikan, Alaska, Wiper John Fleagle entered the room of Lieutenant
Husted on board the Ship McARTHUR after being shot in the back
on the pier. Lieutenant Husted attended to the immediate medical
needs of the wounded man and, determining that the gunman was
aboard holding the captain and quartermaster at gun point, left
the ship at considerable risk to his life to run barefoot to
the Coast Guard Base, about half a mile away, to summon an ambulance
J. Monteith and Herman Ebel, Lake Survey Center, Detroit, Michigan
-- Under extremely adverse weather conditions on July 23, 1971,
Messrs. William J. Monteith and Herman Ebel aboard the LSC vessel
LAIDLY assisted in rescuing personnel from a capsized sailboat.
Anticipating that the sailboat would not be able to survive
worsening sea conditions, the LAIDLY came about to conduct the
small boat into port. Upon finding the sailboat capsized, Messrs.
Monteith and Ebel conducted a search culminating in the rescue
of the sailboat crew and recovery of the sailboat.
Richard P. Floyd, NOAA Corps, and Douglas V. Mason, National
Ocean Survey -- Lt. Floyd and Mr. Mason are recognized for unusual
competence in an emergency, resulting in saving the life of
a fellow employee who had suffered a severe electrical shock.
Lt. Floyd discovered this employee, who had been working alone
on NOAA Launch 1257, in an unconscious state, without pulse,
heartbeat, or perceptible breath. While summoning and awaiting
assistance, Lt. Floyd and Mr. Mason administered heart massage
and artificial respiration. They were able to restore intermittent
breath and heart action until a rescue squad arrived to take
the employee to a hospital for professional assistance. Lt.
Floyd and Mr. Mason, through extremely competent performance
in a critical emergency, were able to save their fellow employee’s
Ships RUDE and HECK -- Lieutenant Commander Robert V. Smart,
Lt (j.g.) Kenneth G. Vadnais, Ensign Samuel P. DeBow, Jr., Messrs.
William M. Brooks, Johnnie B. Davis, James S. Eamons, Kenneth
M. Jones, Frank Krusz, Jr., Anthony W. Styron, and Elijah J.
Willis of the NOAA Ship RUDE and Lieutenant Commander Thomas
W. Ruszala, Lieutenant (j.g.) Charles E. Gross, and Messrs.
Mark Aldridge, Horace B. Harris, Charles J. Gentilcore, Dennis
S. Brickhouse, Robert T. Lindton, Arnold K. Pedersen, Joseph
Wiggins, and James P. Taylor of the NOAA Ship HECK are recognized
for rescuing the crew and scientists from the burning vessel
M/V MIDNIGHT SUN and saving the vessel from total loss. The
crew of the NOAA Ship RUDE safely took aboard all 20 crew members
of the burning vessel who were afloat in life rafts near the
vessel. First aid was administered, and the crew members of
the disabled ship were transported safely to shore. The crew
of the NOAA Ship HECK demonstrated outstanding seamanship through
their efforts over 20 consecutive hours to fight the fire. The
actions of the two ships’ crew members demonstrated superior
performance and exceptional courage in a maritime emergency
beyond the call of duty.
K. Kanahele, NOAA Ship SURVEYOR, Seattle, Washington -- Mr.
Kanahele, Able Bodied Seaman aboard the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR is
recognized for a singular act of courage and selflessness. On
March 6, 1980, while the SURVEYOR was tied to a pier in San
Francisco, a shipmate fell over the side into the water between
the ship and the pier. Without hesitation, Mr. Kanahele leaped
into the water, rescued the shipmate, who was suffering from
hypothermia, and brought him to a small boat which had been
lowered by another vessel. Disregarding the immediate personal
danger, Mr. Kanahele’s act of heroism saved the life of
a shipmate. NOAA is justifiably proud of the gallantry demonstated
by this employee.
Merritt N. Walter, NOAA Corps; Lieutenant Kenneth M. Holden,
NOAA Corps; Lieutenant Thomas G. Russel, NOAA Corps; Robert
H. Maness, National Ocean Survey; Norfolk, Virginia -- Commander
Walter, Lieutenant Holden, Lieutenant Russel, and Mr. Maness
demonstrated extraordinary competence in participating in the
rescue of an elderly woman from the Elizabeth River near the
docks of the Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Lieutenant
Russel organized the rescue effort, started the boat engine,
and maneuvered the craft to the scene. Mr. Maness gathered life
jackets and other equipment for the rescue. The seemingly lifeless
body, floating face down and motionless in the river, was pulled
into the boat. There was no apparent pulse or breathing. Lieutenant
Holden immediately started cardiopulmonary rescuscitation (CPR)
which restored breathing. Commander Walter and Mr. Maness assisted
in CPR routine.
John K. Callahan, Jr., NOAA Corps; Lieutenant Commander Richard
P. Floyd, NOAA Corps; David L. Brannon; and Gordon R. Pringle
-- In recognition of unusual competence in an emergency, Commander
Callahan, Lieutenant Commander Floyd, Chief Boatswain Brannon,
and Seaman Surveyor Pringle responded in an exemplary manner
to effect the rapid rescue of a passenger who fell overboard
from a sightseeing vessel in New York Harbor. The excellent
judgment and superb seamanship demonstrated by the rescuers
are in the very highest tradition of the National Ocean Survey.
[All were part of the complement of the NOAA Ship FERREL.]
Dean Smehil, NOAA Corps; Daniel J. Parry, 3rd Assistant Engineer;
NOAA Ship ALBATROSS IV -- Lieutenant Smehil and Mr. Parry are
cited for saving the life of a shipyard worker who was working
on the NOAA Ship ALBATROSS IV’s Marine Sanitation Device
Compartment. On Monday, May 12, 1986, the worker accidentally
set off the fixed CO2 fire fighting system. There is no alarm
or time delay so CO2 releases immediately to extinguish fires.
Several workers escaped, but one man, Mr. Kelly Prince, passed
out and was still in the void. The Executive Officer, Lieutenant
Smehil, and 3rd Engineer Parry put on Scott air packs and crawled
into the very tight compartment. In moments, Smehil and Parry
dragged the unconscious worker from the tank to safety. Taking
quick action without regard for their own lives they assisted
in saving Mr. Prince.
Commander Ted I. Lillestolen; Commander Robert E. Hunt; Lieutenant
Paul E. Pegnato; NOAA Ship FERREL -- As the NOAA Ship FERREL
was docking at the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, on September
17, 1986, Evelyn (Salley) Langanke fell from a bridge abutment
near the ship into a 35-foot deep ship channel. The ship’s
Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Lillestolen, noted that
the woman was in trouble, ran from the ship and entered the
water. The woman was thrashing feebly when he reached her. Lieutenant
Commander Lillestolen made a proper lifesaving approach and
towed the unconscious woman to shore. Commander Hunt revived
her with CPR. Lieutenant Pegnato administered oxygen and first
aid to stabilize her condition. Since the woman had a partially
collapsed lung, the heroic action and unusual competence of
her rescue and treatment were crucial in saving her life.
Edward R. Cassano; Daniel W. Granstrom; NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN
-- A major fire broke out on the MILLER FREEMAN while the ship
was in port in Seattle. Lieutenant Cassano and Mr. Granstrom,
without regard for their own safety, went below decks to fight
the fire. They repeatedly led Seattle firemen below decks to
guide them in their efforts to extinguish the spreading blaze.
They continued this for over an hour until the fire was under
control and nearly extinguished. Only then did they allow themselves
to be treated for heat exhaustion.
V. Brosh, Chief Engineer, NOAA Ship OREGON II -- Mr. Brosh is
recognized for exceptional courage and heroism in fighting an
engine fire on board the NOAA Ship OREGON II on March 16, 1989.
At much risk to his life, he entered a smoke-filled engine room
to make sure it was clear of personnel before discharging carbon
dioxide into the area. He later personally directed Mobile,
Alabama, fire department firefighters in extinguishing the blaze.
His actions were credited with limiting the damage and saving
Commander Steve C. Stringfellow, United States Public Health
Service; George A. Ringstad; Lieutenant (j.g.) Timothy C. Trembley,
NOAA Corps; Seattle, Washington -- Lieutenant Commander Stringfellow,
Mr. Ringstad, and Lt. (J.g.) Trembley are recognized for their
unusual competence in an emergency in which a diver, trapped
under a vessel, was in danger of losing his arm and possibly
his life. The diver’s arm became wedged in a hull opening
while he was performing contract work. Hi remained trapped for
hours while efforts continued unsuccessfully to free his arm
which rapidly swelled and was in danger of permanent injury.
Dr. Stringfellow’s innovative actions in treating the
arm while the diver was trapped directly contributed to the
victim’s eventual recovery of almost full use of the arm.
Mr. Ringstad’s and Lt.(j.g.) Trembley’s contributions
in this life-saving situation were invaluable in that they were
persistent in their efforts to convince the rescue team to deploy
the water pressure technique which proved to be the successful
solution, equalizing the pressure and freeing the arm.
Mark P. Ablondi, NOAA Corps; Alaska -- Lieutenant Ablondi is
recognized for heroism while temporarily assigned aboard the
United States Geological Survey vessel R/V for a survey of Vidas
Lake and Seal River, Alaska. On July 10, Lieutenant Ablondi
and a crewmember were surveying a bar at the river’s entrance
from an inflatable boat when a large wave knocked the crewmember
overboard. The fallen man was in great danger from the breaking
waves and the extreme cold water, and Lieutenant Ablondi promptly
turned the boat to rescue him. While pulling him aboard, another
wave broke over the boat, killing its engine and tearing out
a part of the floor. The river current then swept the disabled
boat three miles out to sea. Lieutenant Ablondi performed emergency
repairs on the boat, paddled it back to shore and safely landed
the boat through the surf.
Commander Judeth L. Layne, United States Public Health Service;
Matthew N. Ofthus, Jon M. Knox, Lisa K. Glover; NOAA Ship DISCOVERER
-- Lieutenant Commander Layne, Messrs. Ofthus and Knox and Ms.
Glover are recognized for their heroic roles in saving the life
of a fellow crewmember who lost her leg during a shark attack
enroute to Easter Island, Chile. Two crewmembers were injured,
the most serious injury being the amputation of a female crewmember’s
leg. The saving of the crewmember’s lives was the result
of the combination of professionalism of the boat crew, the
bravery of the individuals who literally pulled her from the
jaws of the great white shark, and the expert emergency medical
care provided by Lieutenant Commander Layne.
Lawrence F. Simoneaux, NOAA Corps; Lieutenant Commander James
Herkelrath, NOAA Corps, Lieutenant Commander Steve C. Stringfellow,
United States Public Health Service; Seattle, Washington --
Commander Simoneaux, Lieutenant Commanders Herkelrath and Stringfellow
are recognized for their roles in saving the lives of two crewmembers
of the NOAA Ship DISCOVERER, one of who lost a leg during a
shark attack. From the ship’s home port in Seattle, Washington,
they set up a command post which provided life saving medical
advice to the registered nurse aboard the ship, logistical support
for the evacuation of the injured and arrival of emergency medical
Jerry A. Galt; National Ocean Service -- Dr. Galt is recognized
for saving the life of a passenger on board an airplane en route
to Anchorage, Alaska. During the flight, the passenger went
into anaphylactic shock. Dr. Galt took control of the situation
by monitoring her vital signs and administering oxygen; however,
her condition continued to deteriorate. He then performed mouth-to-mouth
rescuscitation on two occasions until the woman began to breathe
on her own. Dr. Galt remained with her until she was removed
from the aircraft.
Ship FERREL, R-492 -- The officers and crew of the NOAA Ship
FERREL are recognized for rescuing the sailing vessel SUNCATCHER,
saving the lives of three exhausted sailors. The SUNCATCHER,
low on fuel and in the midst of worsening weather, was unable
to reach her destination. The FERREL, after locating the sailing
vessel, rigged a float with a tow line, secured it to the SUNCATCHER
and towed it to safety.
TWA Flight 800 Disaster Response Team; NOAA Ship RUDE, New York
-- The NOAA TWA Flight 800 Disaster Response Team is recognized
for their crucial role in providing precise map mosaics of the
Atlantic Ocean debris fields off Long Island, New York. The
mosaics were instrumental in victim recovery, salvage and investigative
efforts. Within hours after the disaster, the NOAA team arrived
on the site and began surveying the ocean floor with highly
sophisticated side scan sonar equipment. The team utilized the
sonar data to produce precisely located graphic depictions of
the debris fields. Without the products and services provided
by the response team, the recovery of the victims and wreckage
would have been a nearly impossible task.
1999 Gold Medal
Ship OREGON II, Florida Coast -- The NOAA Ship OREGON II is
recognized for the rescue of two men and one woman whose 25-foot
boat capsized in heavy weather off the Florida coast. By the
time the OREGON II found them, the hapless mariners had been
in the water for about five hours and had begun to suffer the
debilitating effects of hypothermia. With darkness falling and
the vessel drifting helplessly in the Gulf Stream and authorities
unaware of their situation or their position, the three would
almost surely have perished were it not for the vigilant watchstanding
and prompt rescue efforts of the OREGON II.
of Marine and Aircraft Operations; National Ocean Service; Public
and Constituent Affairs, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
-- The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, National Ocean
Service and Public and Constituent Affairs are honored for their
role in locating John F. Kennedy Jr.’s downed aircraft
off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The discovery, identification,
and marking of the crash site with buoys for U.S. Navy divers
was instrumental in the rapid recovery of victims and salvage
of the aircraft for investigative efforts. The team utilized
sonar data to identify and precisely locate the debris. This
enabled the unified command to quickly accomplish the recovery
mission and provide rapid closure to this national tragedy.
1999 Silver Medal
Commander Edward Cassano; Lieutenant Stephen F. Beckwith, Channel
Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California -- Lieutenant
Commander Cassano and Lieutenant Beckwith are recognized for
assistance in controlling a fire on the Santa Barbara (Sterns)
Wharf. Both were aboard NOAA’s Channel Island National
Marine Sanctuary vessel, the RV/BALLENA. The BALLENA was maneuvered
along with other vessels, often in heavy smoke, to within feet
of the pier to attack the fire. Over one quarter of the pier
was engulfed in flames and took four hours to bring under control.
Their quick thinking and bravery contributed greatly to controlling
Steven Barnum, NOAA Corps; Commander Emily B. Christman, NOAA
Corps; Captain Sam DeBow, NOAA Corps; Lieutenant Commander Gerd
G. Glang, NOAA Corps; David M. Feit, NWS; Dr. James E. Hoke,
NWS -- Commander Barnum, Lieutenant Commanders Glang and Christman,
Captain DeBow, Mr. Feit and Dr. Hoke, are honored for providing
timely expertise critical to the National Transportation Safety
Board’s efforts to locate and recover the submerged wreckage
of EgyptAir Flight 990 in November, 1999. NOAA mobilized nearby
vessels and weather resources to locate and map wreckage on
the ocean floor, preventing many days of wasted time and uncertainty
in the recovery operations, and easing the uncertainty and human
suffering of the families of those who perished.
National Marine Fisheries
W. Greenough, Auke Bay, Alaska -- Mr. Joseph W. Greenough rendered
expert mountaineering assistance on September 4, 1971, when
an Alaska Airlines plane crashed in the Chilkat Mountain Range,
20 miles west of Juneau, Alaska, killing the 111 persons aboard.
Recovery of the bodies and examination of the wreckage constituted
a hazardous operation for the official personnel involved, but
the risks were minimized as a result of volunteer asistance
from local mountaineers. The seven mountaineers, including Mr.
Greenough, surveyed the crash site, selected a base camp, and
advised officials on personnel and equipment needs. After making
a preliminary body count and recovering flight recorders, the
mountaineers concluded their part in the operation by fixing
ropes throughout the site to insure the safety of the investigators
W. Field, National Marine Fisheries Service Enforcement Division
-- During her tenure in the Enforcement Division of the National
Marine Fisheries Service, Agent Fields has contributed immensely
to the protection of United States fishery resources. Her sustained
superior performance of duty in her varied job assignments typifies
her resolve to function at the highest level. Most recently,
she was assigned to a National Marine Fisheries Service enforcement
team on a complex and extremely dangerous covert investigation
of the illegal harvesting and sale of thousands of Columbia
River salmon and steelhead. During the most critical periods
of the investigation, Agent Fields wore a body recording device
on which she, at great personal risk, recorded numerous conversations
with criminal suspects. She also covertly photographed and documented
these same individuals committing crimes. Their discovery of
her law enforcement activities would have resulted in a certain
life-threatening confrontation. Agent Fields’ uncommon
courage and initiative significantly benefited the Pacific salmon
resource and the law enforcement mission of the Department of
A. Severtson, Senior Special Agent -- Agent Severtson contributed
significantly to the protection of United States fishery resources
and to the fulfillment of United States Indian treaty obligations
by exposing an entrenched cadre of professional poachers who
were actively engaged in the theft and sale of thousands of
Columbia River salmon and steelhead. For years these thieves
had successfully avoided local detection and prosecution through
an insidious scheme which disguised their criminal activity
as a legitimate treaty-protected tribal fishing right. During
the critical stages of the investigation, Agent Severtson, at
great personal risk, directed and actively participated in the
collection of numerous recorded conversations with armed criminal
suspects. He also covertly photographed and documented these
same individuals actively engaged in criminal conduct. Discovery
of his law enforcement activities at any time, would have resulted
in a life threatening confrontation. In carrying out his assignment,
Agent Severtson displayed uncommon courage and initiative which
significantly benefited the Pacific salmon resource and the
law enforcement mission of the Department of Commerce.
Louise Paige; Janet A. Davis; Kathy Summers -- Mses. Summers,
Davis, and Mrs. Paige are recognized for helping to prevent
serious injury and possible death. On June 26, 1986, they responded
to screams from an elevator shaft in which a person was trapped.
They called for emergency assistance, located the victim, and
obtained help from another employee to get the victim free.
They alerted someone on each floor not to use the elevator.
Their alertness and composure under stress, and their competent
action were instrumental in saving a life.
M. Fuss, Jr., Special Agent -- Mr. Fuss is recognized for his
outstanding efforts in fisheries law enforcement, which included
developing a network of confidential informants and obtaining
information from them which resulted in seizures, arrests, and
convictions of major drug smuggling rings throughout the United
States. His expert assistance to the law enforcement community,
the U. S. Coast Guard, and the U. S. Domestic and foreign intelligence
communities, are a credit to him and the Department of Commerce.
G. Borden, Special Agent; Albert M. Samuels, Special Agent;
Andrew R. Cohen, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge; Richard
A Severtson, Special Agent-in-Charge -- Ms. Borden and Messrs.
Samuels, Cohen and Severtson are honored for successfully conducting
a four-year undercover investigation into the illegal harvesting
and sales of geoduck clams valued at over $1.5 million. They
discovered that this shellfish was illegally marketed through
back channels of interstate and foreign commerce to customers
in Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong. They uncovered organized criminal
activity which threatened the health, welfare and safety of
the public. By creating a task force with other Federal, state,
foreign, and tribal enforcement agencies, they removed tons
of contaminated seafood products destined for American and international
markets. During the investigation, they exposed and terminated
the largest illegal bomb factory in Washington State’s
of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
P. Anderson, Mark H. Bushnell, Robert J. Roddy, Miami, Florida
-- Messrs. Anderson, Bushnell, and Roddy risked their lives
to prevent a shipmate and colleague from drowning. This act
of heroism occurred in the presence of a rip current created
by treacherous surf. As a result of their quick thinking and
knowledge of life-saving techniques, they not only saved the
individual, but minimized the potential for complications such