The Commissioning of Paul Clark

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark make their way to Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

by LT Stephanie Young for the Coast Guard Compass

It was 1942 during the allied assault on French Morocco. Fireman 1st Class Paul Leaman Clark was a landing boat engineer attached to the USS Joseph T. Dickman supervising the unloading of soldiers and supplies from the transports on the beach.

Early into the assault, Clark was unloading a transport when his boat was battered with machinegun fire; the bowman was mortally wounded and the coxswain was severely injured. Despite the perilous conditions, Clark took control of the boat and withdrew from the beach with the injured crewmember aboard.

Clark was one of six Coast Guardsman awarded the Navy Cross for actions during WWII, and his bravery and legacy will live on with the service’s newest fast response cutter – Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark.

Lt. W. W. Lloyd Belcher is the ship’s commanding officer and reflected on the importance of honoring the memory of those who served, including his own grandfather, William Lloyd, who served on B-24 Liberators.

Belcher recalls his grandfather spoke little of his experiences during the war, other than to comment on the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers and the dedication they had to each other.

“Like all of my shipmates, we are humbled daily when we think of the sacrifices made by the long blue line of Coasties and other veterans who have served, particularly those citizen-heroes from WWII,” said Belcher. “While it is a heavy burden to carry on such an incredible legacy, this crew is more than willing to shoulder it and do our part.”

Part of carrying on Clark’s legacy is recognizing how truly heroic his actions were in taking the helm after his coxswain was injured, despite his training as an engineer.

“The fact that he was an engineer demonstrates that we are more than just our rating. Engineers have always been key players in Coast Guard missions, even outside of the engine room,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Luis Rivera, an electrician’s mate aboard Cutter Paul Clark. “His example gives us a legacy to be proud of.”

Clark’s heroism is also a point of inspiration for the cutter’s junior plankowners. Petty Officer 3rd Class Darian Suprun, a machinery technician, didn’t know much about Clark when she first received orders to the fast response cutter. After some research, she was “amazed” at what he had accomplished.

“The fact that he was just a fireman, and probably had even less experience in small boats than I do, it’s just impressive,” said Suprun. ‘It reminds us all to step up and look to do more, no matter how junior we may be.”

It’ll be a team effort as Cutter Paul Clark’s crew sets out on their first operational missions; missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense.

Cutter Paul Clark also has fully interoperable command and control systems with Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets.

“The capabilities and efficiencies built into the fast response cutters are going to be game changers here in the 7th District,” said Belcher.

“We’re finally getting the tools we need to succeed without having to worry about spending all that time on maintenance and repair that the old ships required,” added Chief Petty Officer Brian Berryhill who previously served on buoy tenders built in the 1940s and medium endurance cutters built in the 1960s.

But it’s not just about the newest technology; it’s about the crew who will embody Clark’s spirit of getting the mission done.

“As a plankowner, you really have the chance to set a high standard from the very beginning, one that all the future crews will follow,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class George Corriere. “As the first gunner’s mate on the ship, I don’t have any previous example to follow. It’s all on us to make sure we do it right the first time.”

coastguard.dodlive.com

  • Fireman 1st Class Paul Clark served as a landing boat engineer attached to the USS Joseph T. Dickman during the assault on French Morocco. U.S. Coast Guard Photo.

    Fireman 1st Class Paul Clark served as a landing boat engineer attached to the USS Joseph T. Dickman during the assault on French Morocco. U.S. Coast Guard Photo.

  • Joanne Kropp, sponsor of Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, receives a plaque with the Navy Cross from Lt. W.W. Lloyd Belcher, commanding officer of Paul Clark, during the cutter’s commissioning ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon-Paul Rios.

    Joanne Kropp, sponsor of Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, receives a plaque with the Navy Cross from Lt. W.W. Lloyd Belcher, commanding officer of Paul Clark, during the cutter’s commissioning ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon-Paul Rios.

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Crewman Claims Ferry Captain "Rushed Back To Bridge"

The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized two days ago rushed back to the bridge after it started listing severely and tried in vain to right the vessel,

Canaveral Tops State List for Sand Bypass Funding

The Canaveral Harbor Inlet Sand Bypass Project has earned the top state ranking for 2014/15 inlet management funding. As a result, Port Canaveral is expected to receive $100,

Rotterdam port's throughput almost stable

The Port of Rotterdam’s throughput in the first quarter of 2014, at 109 million tonnes, was 0.2% below the level for the corresponding period last year.Split up by goods type,

Coast Guard

Homeland Security Secretary Visits Ingalls Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division apprises it has hosted a visit by Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Rep.

Stranded Virginia Beach Bulker Salvage Plan Set

The Coast Guard advises it is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, 'Ornak',

Obama Offers US Aid to S.Korea Following Ferry Accident

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the South Korean ferry sinking and said the U.S. military will provide

Vessels

Havyard to Build Hybrid Battery Arctic PSV

Norway's Havyard says it has signed a contract for the construction of a Havyard 833 WE ICE platform supply vessel with Fafnir Offshore HF. The vessel is to be

Rotterdam port's throughput almost stable

The Port of Rotterdam’s throughput in the first quarter of 2014, at 109 million tonnes, was 0.2% below the level for the corresponding period last year.Split up by goods type,

Divers struggle in search for ferry survivors

Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, most of them teenagers from the same school, still missing

History

Where in the World is USS Slater?

To answer, USS Slater is at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair in Staten Island. Typically, the ship is open to the public in Albany near the beginning of April. This season,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Today in U.S. Naval History: April 17

Today in U.S. Naval History - April 17 1778 - Sloop-in-war Ranger captures British brig For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at history.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1940 sec (5 req/sec)