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Howard Robinson Jones


Coast Guard Medal

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Coast Guard Medal to Boatswain's Mate First Class Howard Robinson Jones, United States Coast Guard, for heroism on the afternoon of September 20, 1961, while serving as coxswain of the Commanding General-30474, engaged in fire fighting operations following a fire and explosion aboard the U.S.N.S. POTOMAC, a tanker discharging a cargo of aviation fuel at Morehead City, North Carolina. The CG-30474 was dispatched to the scene of the disaster by the Officer of the Day, Fort Macon Lifeboat Station. Despite great chaos and confusion and in the face of violent explosions and flying metal from the ship, Jones skillfully maneuvered his boat in the blazing waters to the stern of the POTOMAC. When directly under the stern, he effected the rescue of five crewmen. After delivering these survivors to shore for hospitalization, Jones again maneuvered the CG-30474 to the scene and subsequently picked up one of the two known missing crewmen. The entire operation was conducted in the face of hazardous conditions created by the frequent flare-ups and low-level explosions. Jones demonstrated initiative and fortitude in spite of imminent personal danger while persevering in his search for survivors. His unselfish actions and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

General Orders: U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office

Action Date: September 20, 1961

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Boatswain's Mate First Class