James D. Stiles
United States of America
Lieutenant Commander James D. Stiles, USCG, pilot and aircraft commander, won the Society's Frederick L. Feinberg Award in 1978 "for the leadership and courage he demonstrated in the rescue of four crewmen from the fishing vessel, Viking Rover, which was disabled and sinking forty-three miles south of Cape Sarichef, Alaska." He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous letters of commendation including the Coast Guard Meritorius Unit Commendation Ribbon.
Lt. Cdr. Stiles died February 18, 1979, while attempting to rescue a Japanese seaman in distress approximately 200 nautical miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Four of the five U.S. Coast Guardsmen in the Coast Guard HH3F 1432 helicopter attempting the rescue perished after the helicopter crashed at sea.
AHS Update: In Memoriam: Vertiflite July/August 1979