John Allen Midgett, Jr.

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John Allen Midgett was recognized by the UK government for saving UK seamen in 1918.

John Allen Midgett Jr. (1876-08-25 -- 1938-02-09) was a senior enlisted member of first the United States Lifesaving Service, and later the United States Coast Guard.[1][2][3] Midgett grew up on Cape Hatteras, on the outer banks of the North Carolina (U.S. state) coast, and like his father, and other family members, he enlisted in the Lifesaving Service in 1898.[4] Midgett remained in command of a Lifesaving Station when the United States Revenue Cutter Service, the United States Lighthouse Service merged with the Lifesaving Service to form the Coast Guard in 1915.

On August 16, 1918, Midgett was the Keeper of the Chicamacomico Lifeboat Station when he lead his power surfboat crew on the celebrated rescue of the 42 crew members of the British tanker Mirlo.[3][1][5][6][7] The UK Board of Trade awarded Midgett a silver cup in 1918, and he was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal twelve years later.

In 1972 the Coast Guard named the USCGC Midgett after him.[3]

Midgett was mortally wounded in an automobile accident in late 1937 and died early in 1938.[2] According to the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography Midgett was friends with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his funeral was attended by a number of Congressmen.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dennis L. Noble. Rescued By The U.S. Coast Guard: Great Acts Of Heroism Since 1878, Naval Institute Press, 2005, pp. 92-95. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dictionary of North Carolina Biography: L-O, University of North Carolina Press, 1991, pp. 265-266. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Don Midgette. Capt. John Allen Midgett & The Mirlo Rescue, North Caroline Genealogy, 2007. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
  4. Coast Guard and the Southeastern Coast, The Patriot Files. Retrieved on 2013-01-14. “Most notable among the Outer Banks life-savers is the renown Midgett family, who have patrolled the beaches of the Outer Banks since at least the 1790s. Even among other heroic families of Hatteras, the Midgetts are considered mighty men. Claiming one hero in a family is usually considered legendary. Yet, over the years ten men of the mighty Midgetts have been awarded Life-Saving Medals of Honor, a record that remains unsurpassed in the history of the Life-Saving Service and the current day Coast Guard.”
  5. Who are some of the heroes of the Coast Guard?, United States Coast Guard, 2012-12-03. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
  6. Don Wharton. The Mighty Midgetts of Hatteras: For Nine Decades, this Extraordinary Family Has Made a Specialty of Saving the Lives of Shipwrecked Seamen, Reader's Digest Association, 1957. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.
  7. Ethnohistorical Description of the Eight Villages adjoining Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Interpretive Themes of History and Heritage, National Park Service, 2005-11, p. 431. Retrieved on 2013-01-14.