In its fifth and final
award announcement of 2003, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission named
15 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as
recipients of the Carnegie Medal. The bronze medal is given to
persons who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while
saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Four of the
awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The Commission names awardees five times a year. Latest awardees
and the resumes of their heroic actions are listed in the following
news release. The next awards announcement will be made in
The announcement brings to 98 the number of persons who have
been recognized in 2003 and to 8,764 the total number honored since
the Pittsburgh-based Fund's inception in 1904.
Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the
awardees or their survivors will receive also a grant of $3,500.
Throughout the 99 years since the Fund was established by
industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $26.8 million has
been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and
One of the awardeees received his honor for the daring rescue of
a passenger from a stricken aircraft. Nathan Michael
Grube of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, helped to rescue William
S. Smith, Jr., from burning, Brunswick, Georgia, September 21,
2002. Smith, 52, was in the left front seat of a six-passenger
airplane that a student pilot was attempting to land at an airport.
The plane struck the ground just short of the runway and burst into
flames at its front end. Both wings, which held the plane's fuel
tanks, and the plane's only door, on the right side of the
fuselage, were torn off in the accident, in which Smith lost
consciousness. The pilot released his and Smith's safety belt, then
stepped from the wreckage. Grube, 23, a chef, was driving near the
airport and saw the burning plane just after the crash. He
immediately parked and with others ran to the scene, approaching
the plane on its right side. Despite flames on the plane's nose and
wings and in the cockpit, Grube leaned into the plane, his jacket
placed over his head for protection, and grasped Smith. He and the
pilot, who had returned to the plane and also reached inside for
Smith, then pulled Smith from the wreckage. They and others carried
him away from the plane, the front half of which was shortly
engulfed by flames. Smith was hospitalized for treatment of severe
burns and other injuries.