SHIP’S CREW| Commendations & Medals

The SHENANDOAH received many awards during her 13-years of Naval service. Her three Battle Efficiency “E”s were one of the Tough Tenders’ greatest achievements, and source of great pride by her C.O.’s; most assuredly.

The ship’s awards were due to outstanding performance of the duties of the seven Commanding Officers, their X.O.’s, CMC’s, and thousands of officers and enlisted crew serving aboard during her service.

Below is the first crew commendation award plaque mounted on SHENANDOAH’s bulkhead:

First Year Commendations

SHENANDOAH’s crew also received some of the U.S. Navy’s highest commendations as well. All hands receiving awards while serving in SHENANDOAH throughout her history will be honored here in chronological order. Let it be known to all that these are the pride of the Tough Tender’s crew.

Please join us in honoring our esteemed award winners!

U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Medal

HTFA Wussow, Troy Michael Firing Date: 17 Jun 1983

A trifecta of SHENANDOAH “firsts” began on 6 June 1983, and ended on 17 June with HTFA Wussow earning the first SHENANDOAH crew medal; the coveted U.S. Navy Expert Pistol medal on firing date 17 June 1983.

Renovating the Naval Air Station’s pistol range on 6 June, HTFA Wussow participated in the SHENANDOAH’s first Intermediate Maintenance Availability (IMAV) with two Leading Chief Petty Officers (LCPO’s), three Leading Petty Officers (LPO’s), and six additional junior enlisted. The reconstruction of the pistol range concluded on 10 June 1986. However, a five-day extension was added to the IMAV.

HTFA Wussow remained behind to assist the Rangemaster in completing a mural painting and full dressing of the range prior to the formal NAS ribbon-cutting ceremony. Once complete, the Rangemaster honored Wussow by allowing him to be the first customer to fire and test at the new range.

The Rangemaster was made aware that SHENANDOAH’s Commanding Officer commissioned the unit’s first Ship’s Self-Defense team just prior to the IMAV, and ordered half of the junior enlisted SSD team members to become “proficient” in small arms. To the Rangemaster’s surprise, HTFA Wussow exceeded both his, and the C.O.’s expectations.

The third-first was received directly by SHENANDOAH’s Commanding Officer, Captain Thomas M. McNicholas, Jr.

As a result of the outstanding performance of SHENANDOAH’s first IMAV working party, Captain McNicholas received the ship’s first IMAV commendation from the Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia.

U.S. Navy Achievement Medal

LCDR Donzell, Deidra BarnesAction Date 20 May 1983 – 17 Dec 1983

Lieutenant Commander Donzell won both, U.S. Navy Achievement, and U.S. Navy Commendation medals while serving aboard SHENANDOAH. Her Navy Achievement medal was proudly presented by Captain McNicholas during the SHENANDOAH’s first Awards Ceremony.

Below is a copy of Captain McNicholas’ Personal Award Recommendation for for Lieutenant Commander Donzell’s Navy Commendation medal. Box 19 of the form marks the medal and action date for her U.S. Navy Achievement medal.

Much more to follow in Lieutenant Commander Donzell’s U.S. Navy Commendation medal folder.

U.S. Navy Commendation Medal

LCDR Donzell, Deidra BarnesAction Date: 18 DEC 1983 – 5 APR 1985


SHENANDOAH| Crew Award Submissions

Please use the form below to submit a SHENANDOAH sailor who received an award while serving aboard. They will be added to this historical Log. Please complete all fields within the form, and then click “submit.” The Yeoman will then be in contact with you as quickly as possible.

Award Submissions Form:

Recipient’s First Name:
Recipient’s Last Name
Submitter Name & Relation, if Not the Recipient:
Recipient’s Rate/Rank at Time of Presentation:
Award Presentation Date:
Award Title:
Action Date(s) and Nomination Description Exhibits:
Submitter Email Address:
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