104 Years After His Death, Sault Ste. Marie Sailor Honored with Purple Heart

A seaman in the United States Coast Guard and Sault Ste. Marie native received a Purple Heart Monday, exactly 104 years after he died while serving on the USS Tampa.

Alfonso Busho was one of 111 Coast Guard members aboard the USS Tampa when it was sunk by a German submarine missile on Sept. 26, 1918. The vessel was in the Bristol Channel in Great Britain when it was attacked. Everyone on board perished.

Busho was only 21 when he died.

On Monday, Sector Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard held a ceremony to permanently display Busho’s Purple Heart and rename the galley in his honor.

“Events like this are critical to us being part of the community,” said Chief Petty Officer Michael McCallum. “(They) are critical to us honoring our heritage in our place here in the northern Great Lakes. And we are happy to do this for our community, for our junior members, and for everybody that lives and works on the Great Lakes.”

Chief Petty Officer McCallum said Monday’s ceremony had been in the planning stages for five years.