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David R. Sonneman


Navy and Marine Corps Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator Third Class David R. Sonneman, United States Navy, for heroism while serving in Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron NINE, embarked in U.S.S. THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71). On 13 April 1989, Petty Officer Sonneman was a rescue swimmer in AG 615, a search and rescue helicopter launched in response to a distress call from four yachts in the Mediterranean Sea near Corsica. Encountering hurricane-like conditions of 65 knot winds and 30-foot seas, he unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, repeatedly entered the cold and violent waters to rescue the battered and injured crewmembers of the Yacht JUPITER. Inhibited by fouled rigging on board the craft, the utter exhaustion of the crewmembers, and their fear of entering the storm-tossed seas, Petty Officer Sonneman was able to draw upon his special training, personal stamina, and resourcefulness to effect the successful rescue of all personnel. By his courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk, Petty Officer Sonneman undoubtedly saved the survivors from life threatening waters; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: April 13, 1989

Service: Navy

Rank: Hospital Corpsman First Class

Company: Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 9

Division: U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)