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Russell Randolph Waesche , Sr.

Date of birth: January 6, 1886
Date of death: October 17, 1946
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Maryland, Thurmont
Home of record: Chevy Chase Maryland

Russell Waesche was commissioned in 1906 through the School of Instruction of the Revenue Cutter Service. He became the first member of the Coast Guard to achieve the rank of Vice Admiral, and later, as Admiral. He served as the EIGHTH Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1936 to 1946, and was the longest serving Commandant, serving ten years in command of the United States Coast Guard. He retired as a U.S. Coast Guard Admiral in 1946. His oldest son also graduated from the Coast Guard Academy and retired as a Rear Admiral.


Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Russell R. Waesche, Sr., United States Coast Guard, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 7 December 1941 to 31 August 1945. Admiral Waesche was largely responsible for the consistent development of the United States Coast Guard from a peacetime organization of approximately 15,000 to a wartime force of more than 170,000 officers and members. Under his supervision the Coast Guard distinguished itself in supporting landing operations of the Army, Navy and Marines, on convoying merchant ships and in other hazardous tasks.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 348 (March 1946)

Action Date: December 7, 1941 - August 31, 1945

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Admiral