Army and Navy Medals Awarded to Mariners During World War II


Navy Cross medal

Navy Cross
"Extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy."

Gainard, Joseph Aloysius, Commander USNR
SS City Of Flint
Location: North Atlantic
As master of the steamer City Of Flint, at the time of its seizure upon the high seas and during its detention by armed forces of a belligerant European power. His skill, fine judgment and devotion to duty were of the highest order and in accordance with the best tradition of the Naval Service.

[On October 9, 1939 the pocket battleship Deutchland fired a shot across the bow of the SS City Of Flint in the North Atlantic. A Nazi boarding party determined the ship was carrying "contraband" and a prize crew sailed the ship to Norway, Soviet Union, and back to Norway, where Norwegian commandos freed the the ship. She returned to the U. S. unharmed.]


Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal

"Exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility." Awards may be made to persons other than members of the Armed Forces of the United States for wartime services only, and then only under exceptional circumstances with the express approval of the President in each case.

Mattson, John A.
SS Coast Farmer

He and his crew volunteered to carry vital war material to the beleaguered forces on Bataan. Loaded with high explosives and armed only with two light machine guns, they made a 1,000 mile voyage from Australia to the Philippines and were torpedoed and sunk after a successful delivery.


Silver Star

Silver Star
"Gallantry and intrepidity in action, such gallantry and service not being sufficient to justify the award of a Medal of Honor or a Navy Cross."

Hauffman, Percy H.
SS Hilary A. Herbert
Location: Anzio

Prior to entering the merchant marine in 1942, Hauffman was captain of the Staten Island ferry. He received the silver Star for gallantry in action during the landing at Anzio. According to Admiral H. K. Hewitt, commander of naval forces in Europe,Hauffman showed "extraordinary ability and courageous action under fire and outstanding devotion to duty," in landing the SS Hilary A. Herbert at the beachhead and discharging her cargo of ammunition, gasoline and other vital supplies "during a terrific aerial and shore bombardment."


Bronze StarBronze Star
"Heroic or meritorious achivement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military or naval operations against an enemy."


Last First Position Ship Location
Berg Walter M. Master Sankaty Head, Tug Normandy
Carlson Gustaf E. Master Margaret Olsen, Tug New York
Ericksen [Erickson] Ole Master Ola G. Olsen, Tug New York
Gully John Master Beatrice Bush, Tug New York
Halme W. H. Master Bodie Island, Tug Normandy
Hayman Dan W. Master Trinidad Head, Tug Normandy
Hughes F. J. Master Gay Head, Tug Normandy
Jessey Percy A. Master Moose Peak, Tug Normandy
Livingston Stanley E. Master Black Rock, Tug Normandy
Nowell R. S. Master Hillsboro Inlet, Tug Normandy
Parkin C. I. Master Great Isaac, Tug Normandy
Publicover W. H. Master Farallon, Tug Normandy
Striffolino Anthony Master George R. Randolph, Tug New York


Navy Marine Corps Medal

Navy Marine Corps Medal
"Heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy."

Atkinson, William
SS Mormacwren
Towing USS Pasig

Bordeaux, Richard J.
Commander USMS
Ship: Unknown
Location: Anzio

De Puey, James
MV Watch Hill
Location: Formosa


Navy Marine Corps MedalPurple Heart
Awarded to any member of the U. S. Armed Forces killed or wounded in an armed conflict.


Last First Position Ship Location
Baist George H. Midshipman Lyman Abbott Bari
Baker Earl C. Oiler Lyman Abbott Bari
Cheson [Chason] Robert L. Fireman Lyman Abbott Bari
Clay Robert Reese Seaman Unknown New Guinea
Crock [Crook] Jonas B. Machinist Lyman Abbott Bari
Gilbert Paul V. Watertender Lyman Abbott Bari
Goff Langdon J. Messman Lyman Abbott Bari
Grice Paul Chief Cook Lyman Abbott Bari
Hanson [Hansen] Carl W. Wiper Lyman Abbott Bari
Hilton [Helton] Coy E. Messman Lyman Abbott Bari
Hodak Peter D. Jr. Unknown Lyman Abbott Bari
Hurst Sidney Messman Lyman Abbott Bari
Lishman Gordon Steward Lyman Abbott Bari
Lowry Len O. A. B. Lyman Abbott Bari
Maury George W. 2nd Engineer Lyman Abbott Bari
Mitchell William Thomas Cadet Capillo Corregidor
Nicholls Frank H. 3rd Engineer Lyman Abbott Bari
Noto Lorenzo O.S. V2 bomb ashore Antwerp
Roth Morris A.B. Robert L. Vann Antwerp March 1945
Salkay Zoltan Radio Officer Lyman Abbott Bari
Scruggs John Howard Cadet Samuel Parker North Africa
Shepperd Douglas C. Unknown V2 bomb ashore Antwerp
Tischauer Gene Messman Lyman Abbott Bari
Townsley Everett Fireman Lyman Abbott Bari
Walker Robert G. 2nd Cook Lyman Abbott Bari
White James C. Steward Lyman Abbott Bari


We appreciate your additions and corrections to these lists. @

Navy Plans Award for Merchant Marine

Following closely on the adoption of four new medals by Congress for United States Merchant Marine personnel, the Navy has now authorized awarding of the Navy's Silver Star Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to merchant seamen and officers.

Navy Department Bulletin R-1391 provides for the following:

(a) Navy awards may be made to U.S. Merchant Marine personnel only when direct combat with the enemy is involved, or in case of especially meritorious service under combat conditions when members of a naval expedition. The latter is not to be construed as covering normal overseas convoys.

(b) In such cases, Navy awards will be limited to the Silver Star Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, as appropriate.

(c) Major naval commanders to whom this authority is delegated are authorized to award these naval decorations on the spot as is now done for naval personnel.

(d) All naval commanders, if not authorized to make awards themselves, will be meticulous in forwarding recommendations for awards to Merchant Marine personnel of such medals as may be considered appropriate. Such commanders, if serving directly under an officer authorized to make awards, will submit recommendations to that officer. Other naval commanders will submit such recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy.

(e) All naval commanders wil be meticulous in forwarding recommendations for awards to Merchant Marine personnel of War Shipping Administration medals to the Navy Department for further transmission to the War Shipping Administration.

The bulletin carries the signature of Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox.

Source: Neptune, publication of Alameda U.S. Maritime Service Officer Training School, November 1943

Merchant Seamen Eligible for Army Decorations

U.S. Merchant seamen are eligible to receive certain Army decorations according to a recent letter sent to the President by Secretary of War Stimson which stated that merchant seamen serving with the Army are eligible to receive the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. Navy decorations which can also be awarded to merchant seamen are the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and the Air Medal. In order to be eligible for these latter, the seamen must have served in a definite capacity with the Navy since December 6, 1941.

City Merchant Sailor Given Purple Heart
Purple hearts are rarely awarded to merchant seamen, but Douglas C. Shepperd, 22, 3433 Garfield Avenue [Minneapolis], home Thursday from a hospital in Chicago, was able to tell friends how he was presented the armed forces' oldest medal.

One of the few Northwest merchant mariners entitled to wear the purple heart, possibly the only one, Shepperd was wounded by a V2 bomb while ashore in Antwerp last December from the first American convoy to enter the Belgian port.

Part of his foot was cut off by shrapnel. He has not fully recovered from the injury after treatment in hospitals in Antwerp, Paris, England, Boston and Chicago.

He also wears three ribbons for service in every war theater and a combat bar with a star for being aboard a ship torpedoed and sunk off India in December, 1943.

Discharged from the merchant marine this summer, Shepperd is attempting to qualify for trade schooling under provisions of the merchant marine rehabilitation program. He is a graduate of Howard Lake, Minn., high school. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Shepperd.

"QUIT KIDDING!" was the only thing ordinary seaman Lorenzo Noto could say when an Army captain told him, he was going to receive the Purple Heart for wounds received in a bombed theater in Antwerp.

But the captain wasn't kidding and Noto, a Sheepshead Bay graduate, received the decoration. He was on shore liberty with four other Merchant Seamen and two gun crew members the day the Germans made their break-through around Belgium, December 16, 1944.

It was a gray, foggy, bleak day. Rockets and buzz bombs could be heard exploding in the vicinity while the twenty-two- year-old seaman watched and listened to the gunfire around Gary Cooper in "The Plainsman."

Suddenly a bomb hit the theater and brought the beams and walls tumbling down. "The roof," said Noto, "seemed to be torn off and the theater was momentarily lighted by daylight."

For six hours Noto lay pinned under the wreckage, lapsing into unconsciousness several times, until rescuers were able to tunnel under the debris and drag him to safety.

Noto, whose home is in Brooklyn, N. Y. thought it a strange coincidence that he, a 4F, should receive the Purple Heart.

Regulations and Executive Orders re medals; Purple Heart Award to Cadet Scruggs

Official list of Purple Heart medals awarded by Army on January 14, 1944
Battle Report (The Atlantic War)
, Cdr. Walter Karig, New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1946
Decorations, Medals and Insignia of the United States Navy: World War II to Present, James G. Thompson, fountain Inn, SC: Medals of America Press, 2000
Mast Magazine: February 1945, March 1946
Maritime Murmurs [Avalon USMSTS Newsletter], September 9, 1944
Minneapolis Tribune, September 8, 1945
The Official Chronology of the U. S. Navy in World War II, Robert J. Cressman, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2000
We'll Deliver: Early History of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, 1938-1956,
C. Bradford Mitchell, Kings Point, New York: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association, 1977
War Shipping Administration Press Releases 2112, 2133, 2134
Martin P. Skrocki. "More than 30 Years Later... Academy POW is Decorated," Kings Pointer. Winter 1978
Gibson, Charles Dana and Gibson, E. Kay. Over Seas: U.S. Army Maritime Operations, 1989 through the Fall of the Philippines. Camden, Maine: Ensign Press, 2002
"Capt. Hauffman is Cited," New York Times, Jan. 25, 1946

Merchant Marine Medals

07/28/05 ©1998- 2005. You may quote material on this web page as long as you cite American Merchant Marine at War,, as the source. You may not use more than a few lines without permission. If you see substantial portions of this page on the Internet or in published material please notify @