Lt. Ronaqua Russell recently became the first African-American female aviator in the Coast Guard receive the Air Medal in honor of her heroic actions in response to Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history. She was honored in a ceremony at Tuskegee’s Moton Field where, 77 years ago, the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Armed Services broke down racial barriers to earn their wings, and later go on to fly several heroic and critical combat missions in World War II.
Tag: coast guard hero
In the early morning hours of April 10, 1943, Seaman 2nd Class Merrill Walter Hoover sounded the alarm that an oncoming freighter was in the direct path of the CG-72010 he and his shipmates were patrolling aboard in Chincoteague, Virginia. The crew of the freighter, a steamship named Colytto, and CG-72010 made it out alive but Hoover’s body was never recovered. Hoover went in harm’s way and sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his shipmates and was posthumously awarded the DeMolay Medal of Heroism in 2016.
Chief Machinist’s Mate Berry became one of the world’s first helicopter maintenance specialists. A distinguished expert mechanic on original Coast Guard aircraft including landplanes and seaplanes as well as helicopters, he was lead instructor at the very first U.S. military helicopter training unit, the Rotary Wing Development Unit…