Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads personnel are scheduled to hold a building dedication ceremony in honor of a WWII hero at the Sector Hampton Roads Command Building on Base Portsmouth, Friday morning.
Vice Adm. Scott Buschman, commander, Atlantic Area, will preside over the ceremony honoring Lt. Robert H. Prause, Jr., a Norfolk native who served as executive officer of Cutter Escanaba during WWII and posthumously received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart Medal for his heroic efforts.
When a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the U.S. Army troop ship Dorchester in the North Atlantic on Feb. 3, 1943, Prause helped save 133 men from the frigid waters by using the tethered rescue swimmer system he had previously developed.
On June 13, 1943, the Escanaba exploded, most likely due to a torpedo attack. Only three survived, including Prause, but he died shortly after the Cutter Raritan crew rescued him. He was buried at sea with full military honors.