Coast guard

Ensign Richard Andrea Arrighi

  • Branch: Coast Guard
  • Hometown/City: Hempstead, NY
  • Date of Birth:
  • Date of Death: 06-13-1943
  • Conflict: WWII
  • Unit: USCGC Escanaba (WPG-77)
  • Port/Base: North Atlantic

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  • Ensign Richard A. Arrighi, USCGR, an officer on board the cutter Escanaba, was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal on 18 August 1943, during rescue operations off Greenland on 3 February 1943.  After the troopship Dorchester was torpedoed, Arrighi was the first to go over the side as a "retriever."  During the early hours of the rescue operations, one lifeboat, was contacted which was in fair condition.  This boat had picked up the other survivors and was fairly crowded. As the lifeboat was made fast to Escanaba's side, one of its helpless members fell in between the cutter and the lifeboat.  This poor man was covered with oil and the men in the lifeboat simply could not extricate him from his perilous position.  ENS Arrighi, who was working in the water at the time, swam in between the boat and the ship, pulled the man out so that he would not be crushed, held him up so that a line could be put around him and helped the men in the boat get him on aboard.  Arrighi was in grave danger of being himself crushed between the boat and the ship's side, but due to his disregard of his own safety and to his quick action he was spared, only to lose his life in June when Escanaba blew up.  Arrighi was in and out of the water rescuing survivors, working in the dark with a rough sea running and quitting only when his, rubber suit became worn and filled with water.  After that he had to be hauled on board and treated for exposure.

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