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Over 100 Coasties died in a U-boat attack in 1918. Now, the Coast Guard wants to give Purple Hearts to their descendants
On Sept. 26, 1918 the USS Tampa was struck by a German torpedo while sailing through the Bristol Channel, killing all 130 crew members, including 25-year-old Cambridge resident Francis Joseph Taylor.
More than a century later, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking for Taylor's descendants to give them the Purple Heart he received for making the ultimate sacrifice during World War I.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association has raised more than $56 million for a national museum on the downtown New London waterfront to tell the story of the Coast Guard and has plans to launch a new committee in the spring to help raise remaining funds.
At the same time, construction of the museum, which was supposed to start in earnest early this year, has been pushed back due to two other big projects going on in the area.
A seaman with the U.S. Coast Guard will face a court martial on murder and other charges relating to the death of a fellow seaman in Alaska.
Ethan Tucker is charged with the January death of 19-year-old Seaman Ethan Kelch of Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to the Associated Press.
Following an 18-month probe into how the Coast Guard responds to complaints of bullying, harassment and retaliation, and a recent congressional hearing on the matter, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said Congress' work is not over.
Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, one of two congressional committees that spent more than a year investigating the Coast Guard, said in a recent phone interview that he foresees more hearings and continued congressional oversight.
The committees on Homeland Security and Oversight and Government Reform reviewed thousands of pages of documents, many of which were heavily redacted, from the Coast Guard and multiple interviews with Coast Guard personnel during the investigation. Thompson said more records are forthcoming.
"So much of what we got had been redacted to the point that it was not useful at all. We're continuing to receive documents on this case and others that we're continuing to look at," he said.
Four Coast Guard members who faced extraordinary conditions while saving an infant, a pregnant woman and dozens more during a powerful 2017 storm have been awarded prestigious medals for their heroism.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Gantt, Lt. John Briggs, Cmdr. Scott Sanborn and Petty Officer 1st Class James Yockey braved high winds, torrential rains, power lines and other dangers to save up to 120 people each during Hurricane Harvey.
Gantt, Briggs and Sanborn were each presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross last week. Yockey received the Air Medal for his actions.
The awards were presented by Rear Adm. John Nadeau, commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District. The district is headquartered in New Orleans and is responsible for missions along the Gulf of Mexico's U.S. coastline, where Hurricane Harvey dumped as much as 60 inches of rain -- the most of any recorded weather event in the country.