Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heroesof Hurricane Camille

As I was looking through the articles The Sun-Herald is running about Camille, I found in the photo-gallery something to truly pique my interest. One year after Camille devastated the Gulf Coast, seven members of the Mississippi Army National Guard were presented with the Soldier's Medal. The Soldier's Medal is won soley for acts of heroism not invovling actual combat with an enemy.

Here is one of the awards as extracted from General Order 1 from January 12, 1971.

Spec. Four Henry E. Letort, Mississippi Army National Guard, United States Army, who distinguished himself by heroism involving voluntary risk of life at Biloxi, Mississippi on 17 August 1969. ... voluntarily spurned the safety of shelter although superior officers had decreed the suspension of military evacuation duties pending abatement of the storm. As the driver threaded the vehicle through falling power lines, tumbling automobiles, and deadly flying missiles. ... With great physical strength and endurance, he collected people from trees, utility poles, wreckage, rooftops and attics, bringing them aboard the amphibian vehicle. ... proceeded to the rescue of two youths trapped in water, inside a house in imminent danger of being crushed by a severley weakened huge tree. Completing this rescue task and returning to his original station just prior to dawn, Specialist Letort had completed a full night of lifesaving rescue actions ... By his courageous action and humanitarian regard for his fellowman, in the dedication of his service to his country, Specialist Letort has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Go read the other descriptions of heroism from the night Camille obliterated the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Brave men risking their lives to save others as the storm sought more victims.

No comments: