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Paul Leaman Clark
USCG Fireman First Class Paul Leaman Clark.jpg
USCG Fireman First Class Paul Leaman Clark
Service/branch United States Coast Guard

Paul Clark, who served as a Fireman in the United States Coast Guard.[1][2]

Clark was staffing a landing boat during a large assault on a beach in French North Africa, during World War II, when the craft's two other crew members (Richard Bucheit of St. Marys, PA and Donald LaRue of Hacketstown, N.J.) were wounded by a Luftwaffe fighter.[1] Clark took command of the craft, took the wounded crew members to a Navy ship, for medical care, and then returned to his duties as a beachmaster. One of the wounded crew members, Donald Larue, succumbed to his wounds.[3] Thanks to the heroic act of Paul Clark and another coastguardsman and excellent medical care, Richard Bucheit and his wife Rita (Wilhelm) raised five children. Richard died in 1984 at the age of 68. Clark was awarded a Navy Cross.[1] He was one of only 6 members of the Coast Guard to be awarded the Navy Cross in World War II.[4][5]

Since 2010 the Coast Guard has annually awarded a deserving boat engineer an award named after Clark.[1][6]

USCGC Paul ClarkEdit

In 2010 when the Coast Guard decided that all the new Sentinel class cutters would be named after Coast Guard personnel who had been recognized for their heroism Clark was one of those to be honored.[2] The sixth cutter in the class will be named the USCGC Paul Clark. She will be homeported in Miami Florida, with the other first five cutters to be delivered.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Connie Braesch (2010-11-02). "Coast Guard Heroes: Paul Leaman Clark". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcoastguard.dodlive.mil%2Findex.php%2F2010%2F11%2Fcoast-guard-heroes-paul-leaman-clark%2F&date=2013-01-04. "Early into the assault, which lasted from November 8–11, 1942, Clark was unloading a transport when a hostile plane battered his boat with machinegun fire. The heavy fire mortally wounded the bowman and severely injured the coxswain. Showing unsurpassed courage and initiative Clark took control of the boat and withdrew from the beach with the injured crewmember aboard." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stephanie Young (2010-10-27). "Coast Guard Heroes". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcoastguard.dodlive.mil%2F2010%2F10%2Fcoast-guard-heroes%2F&date=2013-01-03. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  3. "Fast Response Cutter, Paul Clark, named after WWII hero, delivered to Coast Guard". Government Security News. 2013-05-22. Archived from the original on 2013-05-31. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gsnmagazine.com%2Fnode%2F29636%3Fc%3Dmaritime_port_security&date=2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-05-31. "Early in the invasion, Clark was unloading a landing boat on the shore of French Morocco that came under fire from a Luftwaffe aircraft. The assault damaged the boat and wounded two of the boat’s crew members, one of them mortally. Clark, in the face of the great danger, assumed control of the boat, withdrew from the beach and sped towards a U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS Palmer, where he transferred the wounded crew members to safety. He then returned the damaged boat to the beach to complete its mission. Clark was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism, one of only six Coast Guardsmen to receive the award during World War II." 
  4. "Who are some of the heroes of the Coast Guard?". USCG. 2012-12-03. http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/vip.asp. Retrieved 2013-01-10. "F 1/c Paul Leaman Clark was awarded a Navy Cross, one of only six awarded to Coast Guardsmen during World War II, for his actions during the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. His citation reads: "For extraordinary heroism while serving as engineer of a landing boat attached to the USS JOSEPH T. DICKMAN during the assault on and occupation of French Morocco from November 8 to 11, 1942. When a hostile plane strafed his boat with machinegun fire, mortally wounding the bow man and severely injuring the coxswain, Clark with quick initiative immediately withdrew from the beach. Speeding toward the USS PALMER, he placed the wounded men aboard and, although his craft was riddled by enemy bullets, courageously returned to his station at the beach."" 
  5. "Full Text Citations For Award of The Navy Cross: To U.S. Coast Guard Personnel World War II (6 Awards)". Home of the heroes. http://www.homeofheroes.com/members/02_NX/citations/03_wwii-nc/nc_06wwii_uscg.html. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  6. Vincent B. Atkins (2010-11-01). "Fireman First Class Paul Clark Boat Forces Engineering Award". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USCG_annual_Fireman_Paul_Clark_Boatman_award_CI_1650_5B.pdf. 

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