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Cary, Robert W. - Capt
NEWPORT OFFICER GETS CITATION
Captain, Robert W. Cary Receives Gold Star
Award in Lieu Second Legion Of Merit For Action on U. S. S. Savannah
Captain Robert W. Cary, U. S. N., of Francis street, this city, commanding officer of the U. S. S. Savannah, had been awarded a gold star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for successfully carrying out that cruiser's mission to support the landing of the American 5th Army at Salerno after the ship had been struck by an aerial bomb November 9. The Associated Press said today from Algiers, in reporting awards of 99 medals and commendations to officers and men of the cruiser for heroism.
The citation said, "By expert seamanship and great resourcefulness, he instituted measures for counterflooding and regaining ship control."
It had preciously been reported in the press that the Savannah, struck by a bomb that penetrated one of her turrets, resulting in the death of several officers and men, among whom was Lieutenant John J. Kirwin of Atlantic street, this city, was back in action after 20 minutes and played an important part in making the landing possible.
The presentation was made by Admiral Lyal A. Davidson at ceremonies held in a north African port. One Legion of Merit was awarded posthumously to Lieutenant Commander John O. Speer of Annapolis, Md., who was killed when the bomb struck the Savannah's turret.
Awards were given for innumerable acts of bravery reported aboard ships both by those who were trapped and by those attempting to rescue them, in many cases while the ship was still burning.
Navy and Marine Corps Medals went to Joseph Costa, 179 Raymond street, Fall River, among others.
Newport Mercury And Weekly News, Newport, RI 17 Dec 1943