North Bend Coast Guardsman receives award for heroism

11th Coast Guard District NewsSAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Henry, an aviation survival technician stationed at Coast Guard Group/Air Station North Bend, Ore., received the Admiral Chester R. Bender Award for Heroism during the Coast Guard Foundation’s 26th Annual Pacific Area awards dinner in San Diego, Aug. 3, 2011.

The awards dinner was held to recognize specific acts of outstanding heroism, leadership and mission achievement performed in the Pacific region.

Information from the Coast Guard Foundation press release:

Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Henry will be honored with the Admiral Chester R. Bender Award for Heroism for two harrowing helicopter rescues in 2010. On March 25, 2010 Henry responded with his [helicopter ] crew CG6514 to a distress call of four surfers pulled into a small enclave surrounded by steep cliffs and jagged rocks. Pummeled by tumultuous waves and confronting the dangerously panicked surfers, he was deployed into the water to hoist all four individually out of the water to safety despite peril and tremendous physical challenge. Henry is also being honored for a courageous act performed on the evening of July 5, 2010 during a response to a call of four people clinging to a 70-degree cliff, 120-feet above the beach. Deployed for a vertical rescue with blowing debris obscuring his visibility, AST2 Henry realized and communicated mid-rescue that his hoist cable had wrapped around the helicopter’s landing gear. Demonstrating unwavering composure, for twenty minutes he bravely hung below the aircraft until he was safely delivered to a runway.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 that supports projects that enhance the education, welfare and morale of Coast Guard members and their families. For pictures of those winning awards at the dinner, CLICK HERE. For more information on the awards dinner and the Coast Guard Foundation, CLICK HERE.


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