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William Loren McGonagle



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

BORN:  November 19, 1925 at Wichita, KS

Entered Service in the US Navy from Thermal, CA

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Vietnam War For heroism on June 08 & 09, 1967 at At Sea in International Waters, Mediterranean

DIED:  March 03, 1999 at the age of 73

Sailing in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, the USS Liberty was attacked without warning by jet fighter aircraft and motor torpedo boats which inflicted many casualties among the crew and caused extreme damage to the ship. Although wounded during the first air attack, Captain McGonagle remained at his battle station. Steadfastly refusing any treatment which would take him away from his post, he calmly continued to exercise firm command of his ship. Despite continuous exposure to fire, he maneuvered his ship, directed its defense, supervised the control of flooding and fire, and saw to the care of the casualties. His extraordinary valor inspired the surviving members of the crew, many of them seriously wounded, to heroic efforts to overcome the battle damage and keep the ship afloat. Subsequent to the attack, although in great pain and weak from the loss of blood, he remained at his battle station and continued to command his ship for more than 17 hours. It was only after rendezvous with a U.S. destroyer that he relinquished personal control of the ship and permitted himself to be removed from the bridge. Even then, he refused medical attention until convinced that the seriously wounded among his crew had been treated.



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