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Michael Whitcomb Chief P.O. U.S. Coast Guard
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Author:  dougrobbins [ November 27th, 2010, 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Michael Whitcomb Chief P.O. U.S. Coast Guard

Born 1947 in Galesburg, Illinoise. Joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965. After training he was sent to Chu Lai Republic of Vietnam in 1966,where he was assigned to Marine Air group 12. When his 13 month tour was up he rotated stateside. Upon completion of his 4 year enlistment he left military service and entered civilian life. Mike spent the next several years as a state police dispatcher while attending college.

In 1976 Mike reenlisted and joined the U.S. Coast Guard where he became an aviation electronics technician. After training he was assigned to a Coast Guard air station in New Orleans.

On December 2, 1977 a huge grain elevator exploded and caught fire trapping men on top. the Coast Guard was notified to attempt a rescue. A Coast Guard helicoptor responded with Mike being one of the crewmen. The helicoptor arrived at the scene and lowered a basket in an attempt to rescue the men from atop the burning elevator. The two pilots were having a very difficult time hovering above the men due to thick rising smoke and violent updrafts caused by the fire. Seeing the pilots were unable to guide the basket to the men Mike looked out the side door and guided the pilots by commuicating with them via a headset. Mike was able to guide the basket to the men and subsequently rescued 2 trapped men just before the elevator was completely consumed by fire.

For their efforts in conducting the rescue under the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances all of the flight crew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After a 20 year career in the military Mike retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1992. Mike went on to become a police officer for the City Of Long Beach were he is currently employed. Mike and his wife Barbara have 2 sons and currently reside in Huntington Beach. Thankyou for your service to your country.

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