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Lieutenant Commander Robert L. Coleman
Class of 2003

Navy Commendation Medal

United States Navy



Lieutenant Commander Robert L. Coleman. For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. LST-311 during the amphibious assault on Sicily, July 10, 1943. When another landing ship was struck by an aerial bomb off the beach near Gela, Lieutenant Commander Coleman, observing the ignition of a cargo of ammunition loaded on trucks, unhesitatingly brought his own vessel close aboard and fought desperately to help control the rapid spread of the flames. Forced to withdraw when his own ship became imperiled by exploding shells and realizing that the fire was inextinguishable, he returned shortly afterward, placed the bow of LST-311 alongside the stricken vessel and rescued forty men who otherwise might have been lost. His cool courage and superb seamanship, maintained at great personal risk in the face of grave danger, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.





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