Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heroes of Pearl Harbor

NOTE: Be sure to fly the flag at half-staff on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day!
If you are not sure how or when to fly a flag at half-staff, click here to find out. Our facts come from the US Flag Code.  

Remembering Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941 

Life Magazine, the Pearl Harbor issue 12.22.1941
This December 7 marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' official involvement in World War II. In that single day, for that single event, there were heroes from every rank – from commanders and majors, to ensigns, machinists, firemen, gunners, and reservists. There also were the unnamed heroes whose names families can recall better than history books. 

Here, we wish to remember all the heroes of Pearl Harbor so you will find the names of the 15 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the 51 recipients of the Navy Cross, the 3 recipients of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and the 4 recipients of the Silver Star.

If you have a hero's story to share from Pearl Harbor, we hope you will post it.

The Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration given by Congress. It is given in recognition for extreme valor. From the attack on Pearl Harbor, 15 were chosen to receive this medal. You can read about these heroes and read their individual citations at the Naval History & Heritage website.
Recipients of the Medal of Honor from Pearl Harbor:
Mervyn Sharp Bennion

John William Finn   

Francis Charles Flaherty

Samuel Glenn Fuqua

Edwin Joseph Hill

Herbert Charpoit Jones

Isaac Campbell Kidd

Jackson Charles Pharris

Thomas James Reeves

Donald Kirby Ross

Robert Raymond Scott

Peter Tomich

Franklin Van Valkenburgh

James Richard Ward

Cassin Young

Recipient of the Medal of Honor from Sand Island, Midways, December 7, 1941:

George H. Cannon

The USS West Virginia with her flag flying (National Archives)
To learn more about this 16th Medal of Honor awarded on December 7, 1941 as well as the oldest Medal of Honor recipient from Pearl Harbor, check our blog on George Cannon and John William Finn.

The Navy Cross
At the end of World War I, the Navy Cross was the third highest decoration given by the Navy for acts of bravery in combat. In World War II, Congress elevated the Navy Cross to the second highest medal that can be awarded for bravery in combat. It ranks immediately beneath the Medal of Honor. It is the highest decoration the Navy awards and, though typically awarded to members of the Navy, the Coast Guard or the Marines, the Navy can award it to anyone serving in any branch of the US military (www.history.navy.mil).

Photo: www. history.navy.mil
Recipients of the Navy Cross from Pearl Harbor

Austin, John A., Chief Carpenter, USN, casualty of USS Oklahoma

Baker, Lionel H., Pharmacist’s Mate second class, USN

Bolser, Gordon E. Lt.(jg), USN

Bothne, Adoloph M., Boatswain, USN

Burford, William P., Lt. Comdr., USN

Christopher, Harald J., Ens., USNR, casualty of USS Nevada

Curtis, Ned B., Pharmacist’s Mate second class, USN

Daly, Edward Carlyle, Coxwain, USN, casualty of USS Downes

Darling, Willard D., Cpl., USMC

Davis, Frederick C., Ens., USNR, casualty of USS Nevada

Dickinson, Clarence E. Jr., Lt., USN

Douglas, C. E., Gunnery Sgt., USMC

Driskel, Joseph R., Corporal, USMC

Dunlap, Ernest H. Jr., Ens., USN

Edwards, John Perry, Ens., USNR

Etchell, George D., Shipfitter, USN

Fleming, W.D., Boatswain’s Mate first class, USN

Gombasy, L.G., Seaman second class, USN

Graham, Donald A., Aviation Machinist’s Mate first class, USN

Hailey, Thomas E., Sgt., USMC

Hansen, Alfred L., Chief Machinist’s Mate, USN

Huttenberg, Allen J., Ens., USNR

Isquith, Solomon S., Lt. Cmdr. USN

Jewel, Jesse D., Comdr.(MC), USN

Kauffman, Draper L., Lt., USNR

Larson, Nils R., Ens., USN

Ley, F. C. Jr., Fireman second class, USNR

McMurtry, Paul J., Boatswain’s Mate first class, USN

Mead, Harry R., Radioman second class, USN

Miller, Doris (Dorie), Mess Attendant first class, USN (ship's cook)

Miller, Jim D., Lt., USN

Moore, Fred K., Seaman first class, USN, casualty of USS Arizona

Outerbridge, William W., Lt. Comdr., USN

Parker, William W., Seaman first class, USN

Peterson, Robert J., Radioman second class, USN

Pharris, Jackson C., Gunner, USN (upgraded to Medal of Honor)

Phillips, John S., Comdr. USN

Riggs, Cecil D., Lt. Comdr. (MC), USN

Robb, James W. Jr., Lt.(jg), USN

Roberts, William R., Radioman second class, USN

Ruth, Wesley H., Ens., USN

Singleton, Arnold, Ens., USN

Smith, Harold F., Boatswain’s Mate second class, USN

Snyder, J. L., Yeoman first class USN

Taussig, Joseph K. Jr., Ens., USN

Taylor, Thomas H., Ens., USN

Teaff, Perry L, Ens., USN

Thatcher, Albert C., Aviation Machinists Mate second class, USN

Thomas, Francis J., Lt. Comdr., USN

Thomas, Robert E. Jr., Ens., USN

Vaseen, John B., Fireman second class, USNR

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the second highest decoration awarded by the US Navy, immediately below the Navy Cross. It is awarded to members of the US Navy or Marine Corps who risk their lives in combat. The medal was created during World War II. Recipients include President Kennedy.

Recipients of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal from Pearl Harbor
Francis D. Day

Aloysius H. Schmitt

Paul R. Wright

The Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third highest military decoration. It is awarded by the US Army for distinguished courage in action against an enemy and may be awarded to anyone serving in the armed forces. 

Recipients of the Silver Star from Pearl Harbor
Edwin H. Kiefer

Theodore W. Marshall

George T. Owen

Alan Shapley

Let it fly!  

To find find out how to fly the flag and other flag etiquette, see USFlagstore's  Flag Etiquette 101 and USFlagstore's How to Fly the Flag at Half-Staff.

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