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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Indio in Riverside County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

USS Liberty Tree - USN Captain William L. McGonagle

 
 
USS Liberty Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, November 9, 2019
1. USS Liberty Tree Marker
Inscription.  
USS Liberty Tree
May 1, 2004 this grand ole Cork Oak tree dedicated to honor all members of the Armed Forces. As a 50th commemoration of the Korean War 1950-1953, we honor the 5,720,000 Americans who served, the 33,651 killed in action, the 20,617 non-battle deaths, the 103,284 wounded and the 8,207 still listed as POW MIA's. We also honor Korean War veteran:

USN Captain William L. McGonagle
and the "Brave Crew" of his ship - USS Liberty (AGTR-5).

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the Commanding Officer, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) in the Eastern Mediterranean on 8-9 June 1967. Sailing in international waters, the Liberty was attacked without warning by Israeli jet fighter aircraft and motor torpedo boats which inflicted 34 causalities and 172 crew members wounded. Although severely wounded during the first air attack, Captain (then Commander) McGonagle remained at his battle station on the badly damaged bridge and, with full knowledge of the seriousness of his wounds, subordinated his own welfare to the safety
USS Liberty Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, November 9, 2019
2. USS Liberty Tree Marker
and survival of his crew. Steadfastly refusing any treatment that would take him away from his post, he calmly continued to exercise firm command of his ship, despite continuous exposure to fire. He maneuvered his ship, directed its defense, supervised the control of flooding and fire, and saw to the care of the casualties. Captain McGonagle's extraordinary valor under these conditions inspired surviving members of the Liberty's crew, many of them seriously injured, to heroic efforts to overcome the battle damage and keep the ship afloat. Subsequent to the attack, although in great pain and weak from loss of blood, Captain McGonagle remained at his battle station and continued to command his ship for more than seventeen hours. It was only after rendezvous with a United States destroyer that he relinquished personal control of the Liberty and permitted himself to be removed from the bridge. Even then he refused much needed medical attention until convinced that the seriously wounded among his crew had been treated. Captain McGonagle's superb professionalism, courageous fighting spirit and valiant leadership saved his ship and many lives. His actions sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Lyndon B. Johnson President of the United States in the name of Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Congressional Medal of Honor to
USS Liberty Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, November 9, 2019
3. USS Liberty Tree Marker
Captain William L. McGonagle, United States Navy.

This dedication is part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the American Forest Historical Liberty Trees for America Program. The dedication was approved by the Board of Directors of the Coachella Valley Historical Society, Carol Cook, Chairwoman of the Board. Host - Bill Huntington Post 3699 Michael T. Pierson - Post Commander ~ Alleca M. Pierson - Auxiliary President Liberty Tree Committee Members Honorary Chairwoman Jacquie Bethel, Mayor City of Indio John Wisman, Les O'Neil, Walter Geissler, Joe Benitez, Hugh Mason and surviving Liberty crew member Donald W. Pageler
 
Erected 2004 by Liberty Tree Committee Members and Surviving Crew Member Donald W. Pageler.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
 
Location. 33° 43.28′ N, 116° 13.396′ W. Marker is in Indio, California, in Riverside County. Memorial can be reached from Miles Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Located just within the main gates to the left of the Coachella Valley History Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 82616 Miles Avenue, Indio CA 92201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Smiley Place (here, next to this marker); 1909 Indio Schoolhouse
USS Liberty Tree image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, November 8, 2019
4. USS Liberty Tree
(was about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing. ); Dr. June Robertson McCarroll (approx. 0.3 miles away); History of Electricity in the Coachella Valley (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jimmy Swaggart's "Date" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans Remembrance Memorial (approx. 3.6 miles away); Water Trough (approx. 4 miles away); Indian Wells (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indio.
 
Categories. War, Korean
 
USN Captain William L. McGonagle image. Click for full size.
5. USN Captain William L. McGonagle
USS Liberty and its "Brave Crew" image. Click for full size.
6. USS Liberty and its "Brave Crew"
 

More. Search the internet for USS Liberty Tree - USN Captain William L. McGonagle.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 16, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 52 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 16, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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