Coast Guard veteran of World War II recognized for daring mission

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Jack Sutherlin, a Coast Guard veteran of World War II, tells the story of a significant aerial mission that occurred 68 years ago, during a recognition ceremony held in Santa Maria, Calif., May 19, 2011. Sutherlin was officially recognized by the Coast Guard and by the U.S. Congress for his valiant efforts to sink an enemy submarine on Dec. 25, 1943, allowing U.S. Navy ships to enter safely into San Diego Bay. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Jack Sutherlin, a Coast Guard veteran of World War II, was officially recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Congress for his role in a significant aerial mission 68 years ago, during a ceremony held in Santa Maria, Calif., May 19, 2011.

As an aircrew member on Dec. 25, 1943, Sutherlin was charged with protecting a formation of U.S. Navy ships entering San Diego Bay. Sutherlin and his crew located an enemy submarine at the rear of the formation and immediately engaged with a depth charge attack.

“Your professional actions that day resulted in the safe passage of two escort carriers into San Diego Bay,” states a letter to Sutherlin from Adm. J.P. Currier, Coast Guard Chief of Staff. “Your skill, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) and Cdr. Jason Collins, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, presented Sutherlin with letters of commendation during the ceremony. The crew of Coast Guard Station Morro Bay was also in attendance to honor Sutherlin and his service.

 

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