URBANNA, Va. (WAVY) - Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presented former Coast Guardsman Carl M. Dize Sr. with the Coast Guard Commendation Medal during a ceremony at Urbanna United Methodist Church on Sunday.
Dize, of Urbanna, received the medal "for his extraordinary lifesaving efforts while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II."
According to the Coast Guard, on the night of April 20, 1944, while assigned to the destroyer escort USS Menges, Dize and his fellow crewmen came under attack by the German Luftwaffe. During the attack, the destroyer USS Lansdale was heavily damaged and the crew was forced to abandon ship.
Afterwards, the crews from the USS Menges and her sister ship, the USS Newell, rescued over 200 men from the Mediterranean Sea. The Coast Guard said Dize himself swam out to the edge of the Menges's spotlight illumination to rescue sailors.