Honda (Pedernales) Point, California, Disaster, 8 September 1923
Recommendation for Medals of Honor

UNITED STATES FLEET
BATTLE FLEET
DESTROYER SQUADRONS, SQUADRON ELEVEN
U.S.S. Melville, Flagship

San Diego, California
19 October 1923.

From: Commander Destroyer Squadron Eleven.
To: Commander Destroyer Squadrons, BF.

SUBJECT: Recommendation for Medals of Honor, Life Saving Medals and Letters of Commendation for certain Officers and men for special meritorious conduct and acts of Gallantry at time of Stranding of Destroyers at Point Pedernales, California.

Reference: (a) COMDESRONS, BF. letter file 3542-F-10-E/-03 of 20 September 1923.

Enclosures: (2).

1. As requested in reference (a) detailed reports on the special meritorious conduct of Chief Boatswains Mate Peterson, Fireman First Class F. Scott, Quartermaster First Class N.F. Owen and Seaman Second Class H.H. Williams are made in the enclosed letters from the Commanding Officers of the Woodbury and Young.

2. The Squadron Commander desires to recommend that the following Officers and Men be awarded Medals of Honor or Life Saving Medals, or should receive Letters of Commendation from the Navy Department, as enumerated and for the acts as given below:

W.L. CALHOUN, Commander:

(Medal of Honor). Displayed leadership and personality which saved the lives of three-quarters of the crew of the Young.

W.D. SEED, Lieut. Comdr.:

(Medal of Honor). By personal effort and leadership saved his entire crew; he swam from his ship at great personal risk, through heavy seas and between rocks to see whether or not it was safe for his crew to reach safety by this route; after line was run he made his way back the ship and conducted safe landing for his entire crew.

A. PETERSON, C.B.M.

(Medal of Honor). Who bravely, and at great personal risk, swam with line to Chauncey and by so doing the entire crew of the Young were landed.

F.M. MOON, M.M. 1/c.:

(Medal of Honor). Who bravely, and at great personal risk, swam with a line from the Fuller to the rock occupied by the Woodbury crew and by means of this line the entire crew of the Fuller were enabled to reach safety.

R.L. RHODEHAMEL, Eng. 1/c.:

(Medal of Honor). Who bravely and with great effort and personal risk, lowered himself from sea ladder and rescued four men from the water while the ship was plunging violently on rocks.

N.F. OWEN, Q.M. 1/c.:

(Life Saving Medal and Lettter of Commendation). Who bravely and with great effort and personal risk, lowered himself from sea ladder and rescued Breeden, D.L., B.M. 2/c from water.

H.H. WILLIAMS, Sea. 2/c.:

(Letter of Commendation). Assisted OWEN in rescuing Breeden when OWEN was forced by the seas to release his grip on the sea ladder and hold on with one leg.

A.A. HAYES, S.C. 1/c.
J.C. ROSEBORO, GM. 1/c
W.C. ETHERIDGE , F. 3/c.:

(Life Saving Medal and Letter of Commendation). Who bravely and at great personal risk, rescued T.C. Farnum, F. 3/c, who had fallen into the water between the ship and the rocks against which the ship was being pounded violently.

E.G. HERZINGER, Lieut.:

(Letter of Commendation). Displayed commendable qualities of courage and resourcefulness in the time of grave danger and who volunteered to and did swim over with a small line to the Chauncey about 100 yards inshore.

H.G. DONALD, Lieut. Comdr.:

(Letter of Commendation). As Squadron Engineer rendered valuable service in securing Delphy’s boilers and later in planning life saving appliances and effecting the landing of the crew.

F. SCOTT, F. 1/c.:

(Letter of Commendation). Who attempted to close master burner valves and later assisted on deck in lifting safety valves.

H.D. CUMMINGS, CQM.:

(Letter of Commendation). Assisted in the extremely hazardous work of rigging lines to the rock and on getting the men over the line; his conduct was most courageous and officer like throughout.

E.E. WIESENDANGER, R.M. 3/c.:

(Letter of Commendation). Who volunteered and did swim through heavy surf to the rocks, at great personal risk, in order to get a line ashore.

B.S. JONES, Ensign
LUCIAN BARGER, S.F. 3/c.
FRANK STASTA, Sea. 2/c.
G.H. TRENHAILE, F. 1/c.
G.M. MELVIN, F. 2/c.
C.M. BASS, Sea. 2/c.
L.A. CAMPBELL, Sea. 2/c.
A.M. TITUS, Sea. 2/c.
S.L. GILLESPIE, F. 3/c.
J.R. COLLINS, F. 2/c.
(Letter of Commendation). They volunteered to and did launch a whaleboat in a heavy surf, amidst rocks, and lay off until daylight when they ran a line to the Woodbury.

H.B. DAVIS, Lieut.
H.A. THOMAS, CBM.
OLLIS KELLEY, BM. 1/c.
WALTER SCOTT, TM. 2/c.
Letter of Commendation). Launched a raft in heavy surf and attempted to ferry it to the Woodbury in an attempt to rescue the crew of the Fuller by this means; raft was overturned by heavy seas thus endangering their lives.


EDWARD WATSON

Copy to:
COMDESDIV., 31
COMDESDIV., 32
CO. Delphy


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