The namesake of the ship.

  Lt. Col. Aquilla James "Jimmie" "Big Red" DYESS, USMC


Real Hero Honored

As a 19-year-old Clemson College Student in 1928 Augusta Native Jimmie Dyess, at huge personal risk, dove into the violent storm waters off Sullivan's Island, S.C., to rescue two drowning women, for which he was presented Carnegie Medal, the highest award the U.S. offers for peacetime bravery.

Then 16 years later Dyess won the military's highest award for courage, the Medal of Honor, after the Marine leiutenant colonel led his battalion into combat behind enemy lines to save four wounded Marines. The next day, Dyess was shot and killed leading his troops against an enemy machine gun nest.

This marks the Augustan as the only American to receive both the nation's highest civilian and military awards for bravery. His unique valor, service and self-sacrifice was honored in 1994 when the State Transportation Board designated a 3-1/2 mile stretch of road linking Belair Road to Fort Gordon's Gate 1 as the Jimmie Dyess Parkway.

At 10 a.m. Oct. 30 recognition will move into even higher gear as the Parkway is officially dedicated. At noon the same day the Navy-Marine Reserve Center, behind Daniel Village Shopping Center, will also be named in Dyess' honor.

But the highlight of the festivities is his biography, A Hero Among Heroes: Jimmie Dyess and the Fourth Marine Division authored by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Perry Smith (Ret).

Smith will be on hand at the Reserve Center to comment on Dyess' extraordinarily heroic life -- and to autograph the book, of which all royalties will go to the U.S. Marine Corps. Jimmie Dyess wouldn't want it any other way.

- an article from a Georgia Newspaper sent in by Maj, Gen. Perry M. Smith.

Site by ETP