Armed Forces News

Three Coast Guardsmen received the Distinguished Flying Cross and another an Air Medal for their work rescuing victims of Hurricane Harvey in August and September 2017. The awardees are:

* Cmdr. Scott Sanborn – Distinguished Flying Cross, for flying an MH-65 helicopter on instruments into 50-knot winds at ceilings as low as 200 and 300 feet, with less than a mile of visibility, on air-rescue missions. He rescued three air crewmen who were stranded in a flooded parking lot, and later a rescue swimmer. During another flight, he took part in the rescue of 11 persons who had gone days without food and water and were in need of medical attention. He flew 14 hours of rescue operations in total.
* Lt. John Briggs – Distinguished Flying Cross, earned while serving as an MH-65 helicopter pilot in high winds and low visibility. He helped rescue a pregnant woman who was trapped in her attic, and helped save an infant who was swept away from his father, among other missions. In total, he had a role in the rescue of 120 persons.
* Aviation Survival Technician 3rd Class Tyler Gantt – Distinguished Flying Cross, for efforts while working as a rescue swimmer aboard MH-65D helicopters in the Houston area. He braved winds that would exceed 80 knots in low visibility to rescue the pregnant woman who was trapped in her attic. He carried the woman and her family away to safety by swimming through the flood waters. He also had a role in rescuing the infant who was swept away from his father. And on another occasion, he tore through a roof without a chain saw to rescue seven persons stuck in an attic. In total, he took part in the rescue of 59 people.
* Avionics Electrical Technician 1st Class James Yockey – Air Medal, for helping rescue a disabled woman from a flooded apartment while suspended from an MH-65 helicopter in high winds, mere feet from live power lines. He also had a role in 27 other rescues.