US Navy Honors USS LIberty

The United States Navy has honored the USS Liberty many times in many ways.

Immediately after the attack, the crew was awarded 205 Purple Heart Medals (34 posthumously) for injuries received in combat. Since then, Purple Hearts have been awarded to three more men wounded in the attack, making a total of 208 casualties in a crew of 297, a casualty rate of 70%.

The President of the United States awarded the crew the highest group award, the President Unit Citation.

The ship's commanding officer received the nation's highest award for an individual, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In addition to the captain, at least twenty-nine men received medals for heroism, some posthumously, including one Navy Cross and several Silver Star medals.

Navy owned buildings were named after Liberty crewmen in Florida, Illinois, West Virginia, California and Japan.

Memorial displays were created in Illinois and at the Admiral Wenger Cryptologic Museum at Nebraska Avenue in Washington, DC, now moved to a location near Fort George Meade in Maryland.

In December, 1997, the Navy named a new medical-dental building in Northwest, Virgina, "The Captain William L. McGonagle Branch Medical Dental Facility" in honor of USS Liberty's captain. This is the first time the Navy has named a building after a living person. Captain McGonagle died a few months later.

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Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors

USS Liberty