Samuel T. “Dusty” Rhodes, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who received the Silver Star for his part in the rescue of two comrades during the Korean War and who pursued a second career with the federal government, died Jan. 9 at his home in Alexandria. He was 87.
The cause was cancer, his granddaughter Emily Ryan said.
Col. Rhodes served in the Army for 21 years, including on assignment in Saudi Arabia and Germany, before retiring in 1968. He received the Silver Star for “gallantry in action” during an operation in 1950 in which he and a partner rescued two wounded men from enemy territory across a river.
“With complete disregard for his own safety,” reads a copy of the citation provided by his family, he “swam the river under enemy machine gun fire and brought the two wounded men to safety. His gallant actions and extreme courage saved the life of a wounded man and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.”
Col. Rhodes later worked for the Post Office Department and its successor, the U.S. Postal Service, and for the General Services Administration, specializing in budgetary matters.
Samuel Tinsley Rhodes Jr. was born in Washington, Ga., and was a 1947 business administration graduate of the Citadel in South Carolina. He received a master’s degree, also in business administration, from Harvard University in 1957.
Besides the Silver Star, his military decorations included the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.
His memberships included the Virginia Draft Horse and Mule Association and St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Catholic Church in Alexandria.
His wife of 36 years, Annette Watkins Rhodes, died in 1986. Survivors include his wife of 24 years, Jane Hediger Rhodes of Alexandria; a daughter from his first marriage, Annette Ryan of Springfield, Va.; three stepdaughters, Suzanne Hediger of Herndon, Va., Heather Hediger-Baker of Salt Lake City and Rebecca Mills of Fredericksburg, Va.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.