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Levene Wescott Midgett, Sr.
[Photographs from USCG Headquarters historical files compiled by LCDR Don Midgette, USCGR]

Top photos: Levene working with his dog at Chicamacomico Station on June 15, 1952
Bottom photo: 1953 retirement photograph

Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC had the following biographical sketch about Levene--
     On 31 December 1953, Chief Boatswain's Mate, Levene W. Midgett, US Coast Guard, one of the most famous Midgett's of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, retired after nearly 37 years of active service. His age at the time of retirement was 62 years. For the 15 years just previous to his retirement, he was the Officer-In-Charge of the Coast Guard's Chicamacomico Lifeboat Station at Rodanthe, NC in his home town. Chief Midgett went into retirement with a long list of memorable rescues to his credit and carried with him the nation's second highest lifesaving award, the Treasury Department's Silver Lifesaving Medal. He was born in Rodanthe, NC on 29 November 1890. Even before he was old enough to join the Coast Guard, he used to "take charge" of the Chicamacomico Station for his uncle, L. Bannister Midgett, when "Captain Ban" was absent from the station. Levene W. Midgett signed up in the Coast Guard at the old Gull Shoal Coast Guard Station, 3 miles south of Salvo, NC, in 1917 as a surfman. He stayed there until 1924 when he was transferred up the beach to the Chicamacomico Station, where he remained for 4 years. Then he was transferred down the beach to the old Bogue Inlet Coast Guard Station for a couple of months in 1928 before being assigned to the Cape Fear Coast Guard Station. The same year he was promoted to Chief Boatswain's Mate. Soon afterward he was assigned to the Oak Island Coast Guard Station. He was finally assigned as Officer-In-Charge of the Hatteras Inlet Coast Guard Station about a year and a half later. It was while at the Hatteras Inlet Station the he and several of his crew were awarded Silver Lifesaving medals for the rescue of 5 men from the fishing trawler "Annie May" which ran aground on treacherous Diamond Shoals during the height of a storm. In 1932 he was transferred up the beach a short distance to the Creeds Hill Coast Guard Station as Officer-In-Charge and remained there 6 months before his assignment to the Boston, Massachusetts, Harbor floating Coast Guard Station. Only a month later he was transferred to the Woods Hole Coast Guard Station at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Six months later he was assigned again to the Hatteras Inlet Station as Officer-in-Charge. Chief Midgett was next assigned as Officer-In-Charge of the Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Station. Three years late he was transferred to the Chicamacomico Station where he remained until retirement as Officer-In-Charge. Chief Midgett championed the use of the DUKW amphibious vehicles. One story that he used to tell to demonstrate their usefulness was the following: A 27-foot motor yacht with two men and two women aboard ran aground in a violent wind and rain strom in the Oregon Inlet 15 miles north of Chicamacomico and was in danger of breaking up in the surf. The Coast Guard rushed a motor surfboat and a lifeboat to the scene, but neither could get near enough to the grounded vessel to be of assistance because of the shallow water. Just then, Chief Midgett and one crew member of the Chicamacomico Station rolled onto the scene in the station's DUKW which drove into the surf and saved the yacht and its occupants. Cheif Midgett was married to the former Lucretia W. Midgett of Rodanthe, NC while he was in the Coast Guard. They had two daughters, both of whom became married to Coast Guardsmen. On 21 January 1973, Chief Boatswain's Mate, Levene W. Midgett, US Coast Guard (Ret.). Service Number 107-298, died in the Veteran's Hospital in Hampton, Virginia at the age of 82 years.



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