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Daniel J. Todd

Home of record: Tucson Arizona


Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Petty Officer Third Class Daniel J. Todd, United States Coast Guard, for extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight on the Coast Guard helicopter CG-6031 on 29 October 2012. Serving as the Rescue Swimmer, he and the helicopter crew were tasked to fly through driving rain bands, 60 knot winds and moderate turbulence to assist the tall ship HMS Bounty, which was foundering 80 nautical miles east of Cape Hatteras in the midst of Hurricane Sandy. CG-6031 arrived on scene to find the HMS Bounty partially submerged in a large debris field of life rafts and survival suits. CG-6031 established a hover next to the first raft they found and without hesitation Petty Officer Todd deployed to the water and swam through 30 foot waves and gale force winds. Upon reaching the raft, he climbed inside to find six survivors and calmly introduced himself. Petty Officer Todd began the grueling task of retrieving each survivor from the raft and delivering them one-by-one to the awaiting rescue basket. Large waves repeatedly approached from multiple directions, dragging him and each survivor through the water while they waited to be hoisted. While he was assisting the second survivor into the rescue basket, a large wave toppled the raft with the four remaining survivors still inside. Recognizing the severity of the situation, he sprinted towards the raft and was able to grab a hold of the sea anchor line and assist the remaining survivors clinging to the raft. His strength and ingenuity enabled him to expedite the rescue and ultimately save valuable time on scene. Demonstrating personal perseverance and endurance to overcome fatigue, he was then recovered and redeployed to a second life raft with three more survivors. His stamina enabled him to endure an hour in the sea and complete 11 transits between the helicopter rescue basket and two life rafts. Petty Officer Todd's actions, skill and heroism were instrumental in the rescue of nine people. His courage, judgment and devotion to duty in the face of hazardous conditions are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

Action Date: October 29, 2012

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Petty Officer Third Class