Families of two Coast Guardsmen killed during World War I presented with Purple Hearts

Julia LeDoux
November 15, 2019 - 2:44 pm
USCG Cutter Tampa

United States Coast Guard

The families of two Coast Guardsmen who were killed when their cutter sank during World War I were posthumously presented with their Purple Hearts on Friday.

The medals were presented to the families of Joseph Lieb and Benjamin Nelson by Capt. Monica Rochester, the Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach commander in recognition of the fatal wounds they received due to the sinking of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa on Sept. 26, 1918.

Tampa crew
United States Coast Guard

According to a Coast Guard news release, the Tampa was escorting a convoy to Wales via the Bristol Channel when its crew became aware of a potential enemy submarine. The cutter was positioned in front of the convoy, where at approximately 8:45 p.m., it was struck by an enemy torpedo. Lieb and Nelson, along with all 130 people aboard, lost their lives.

Lieb, of Brooklyn, New York was 18 and Nelson of Elroy, Wisconsin was 25 at the time of their deaths.

Reach Julia LeDoux: Julia@connectingvets.com

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