Rear Adm. Andy Tiongson and the family of Charles Parkin read the Purple Heart citation of Charles Parkin, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island. The Coast Guard posthumously presented the family of Charles Parkin the Purple Heart for his sacrifice on Sept. 26, 1918 while serving aboard the USS Tampa. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole J. Groll)

The Coast Guard posthumously presented the family of Charles Parkin, of Newport, the Purple Heart medal on Wednesday for his sacrifice on Sept. 26, 1918 while serving aboard the USS Tampa in World War I.

The First Coast Guard District Commander, Rear Adm. Andy Tiongson, the crew of Station Castle Hill, and the Newport community were among those who honored Parkin.

On hand to accept the Purple Heart medal were Parkin’s nieces, Frances and Joan, and his Great-nephew, Tom.

Parkin was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, and served as a crew member aboard the USS Tampa. One of the six Coast Guard Cutters assigned to the Navy, Tampa was on convoy duty in European theater when the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine and sunk with all hands aboard on Sept. 26, 1918, in Bristol Channel, England.

In 1999, Commandant Admiral James Loy authorized the posthumous awarding of the Purple Heart Medal to the crew of USS Tampa. The Coast Guard continues to identify families who have yet to receive their ancestors’ Purple Heart. 

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