SAN BENITO, Texas — Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps members from South Texas gathered with the family of a Coast Guard veteran and Silver Star Medal recipient, to honor him at a funeral and memorial in San Benito Friday.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frederick Dean Mann lived from Oct. 14, 1918 until his death Jan. 9, 2017.
Services included a fly over from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 21-gun salute from the Coast Guard’s Ceremonial Honor Guard. In Mann’s honor, the Navy’s USS MICHAEL MURPHY was scheduled to lay a wreath over the wreckage of USS GEORGE F. ELLIOT in Iron Bottom Sound off Guadalcanal.
Mann enlisted in the Coast Guard on August 27, 1939 and retired after 31 years of service. During his service, he was assigned to the USS GEORGE F. ELLIOTT, a Navy transport ship, off the coast of Guadalcanal in 1942. After an enemy plane was shot down and crashed into the ship, Chief Warrant Officer Mann responded heroically to the resulting fire and was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his conspicuous gallantry in the face of great personal danger.
His Silver Star citation reads as follows:
“For conspicuous gallantry while attached to the USS George Elliott in action against Japanese forces off Guadalcanal August 8, 1942. When a hostile plane was shot down and exploded on board the ship, transforming the ship into a blazing torch, Mann carried a fire hose into the troop ammunition magazine to flood the compartment. Subsequently, despite suffocating smoke and dangerously heated bulkheads he reentered the compartment recovered the hose and continued his efforts. His action prevented the magazine from exploding.”
For more information about Mann and his heroic life, read the Coast Guard’s record of his oral history, or a Coast Guard Compass Blog post by his daughter after his 97th birthday: Self-proclaimed “Coast Guard brat” reflects on servicemembers of yesterday and today.