Overdue honor. (The Goodness of America).During World War II, the Naval Armed Guard Naval Armed Guard units were established during World War II in an attempt to provide defensive firepower to merchant ships in convoy or merchant ships traveling alone. This was done because of the constant danger from enemy submarines, surface raiders, fighter aircraft and carried out the vital--and perilous--mission of protecting U.S. troops and merchant vessels from enemy attack in hostile waters. Aboard slow-moving ships, guardsmen traversed what German U-boat captains called the "shooting gallery shooting gallery Substance abuse A place–eg, an abandoned building in an economically-depressed urban area–ie, a ghetto, where IV drug users congregate, purchase, inject–'shoot' heroin, cocaine, oxycodone or other drug. ," fighting off countless attacks by enemy planes, ships, and submarines. Nearly 150,000 Navy personnel served in the Armed Guard, more than 1,800 of whom lost their lives.
Lyle Dupra of Rochester, New York This article is about the city of Rochester in Monroe County. For the town in Ulster County, see Rochester, Ulster County, New York.
Rochester, once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City or , was an 18-year-old guardsman aboard the merchant ship SS John Alden in October 1944 when Japanese planes attacked the vessel. During a recent telephone interview with the Associated Press, he recalled that "as we were disembarking these troops on a makeshift dock, we were under constant enemy attack. Their main thrust was to dive into merchant ships, any cargo vehicles, any tanker, that they could and stop the supplies that would get to the armed forces. I fought for three days and four nights."
During the ordeal, a bomb struck a nearby sister ship, detonating det·o·nate
intr. & tr.v. det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing, det·o·nates
To explode or cause to explode.
[Latin d explosives that sent a fusillade of shrapnel shards flying. One shard struck Dupra in the foot, and the concussion from the explosion caused him partial hearing loss. The injuries clearly qualified Dupra for the Purple Heart decoration, awarded to members of the armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. wounded in action A casualty category applicable to a hostile casualty, other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who has incurred an injury due to an external agent or cause. The term encompasses all kinds of wounds and other injuries incurred in action, whether there is a piercing of the body, as in against an enemy, but he did not receive one because his military records were either lost or destroyed.
When family members encouraged him to seek the honor, arguing that he deserved it, Dupra, now 77, contacted Representative Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who launched an investigation. Eventually, sufficient records of his service surfaced to confirm his status. On November 8th, during a ceremony in Rochester, Representative Slaughter presented him the medal for which he had qualified nearly six decades earlier.