Coast Guard to Award World War II Veteran Purple Heart

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Samuel R. Jones, a Selma, N.C., resident and World War II Coast Guard veteran, will be awarded the Purple Heart in a ceremony aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence in Wilmington, N.C., Thursday, March 13, 2008, at 10 a.m.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Fred M. Rosa Jr., Commander Fifth Coast Guard District will present Jones with the award.

Jones and 49 of his shipmates were injured when a Japanese torpedo struck the USS Cavalier at 1:33 a.m. on Jan. 30, 1945, as it transited from Luzon to Leyte. The ship lost engines and steering and had to be towed back to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for repairs.

While stationed onboard the Cavalier, Jones participated in the Marianas and Philippine Campaigns and took part in the invasions of Saipan, Tinian, Leyte, Luzon and Northern Luzon.

Jones served as a Fireman 2nd Class onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory (WAGL/WLI 219), USS Cambria (APA-36) and USS Cavalier (APA-37), a 492-foot Bayfield-class attack transports manned by Coast Guard and Navy personnel during the war.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

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