Photos: The 15 men awarded the Medal Of Honor for heroics on Dec. 7
Captain Mervyn Sharp Bennion was commanding Officer of the U.S.S. West Virginia. After being mortally wounded, Capt. Bennion evidenced apparent concern only in fighting and saving his ship, and resisted being carried from the bridge.
During the first attack Lt. John Finn manned a .50-caliber machine gun mounted in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavystrafing fire. Wounded, he continued to man this gun and return the enemy’s fire vigorously.
As the U.S.S. Oklahoma began top capsize the order to abandon ship was given. But Ensign Francis C. Flaherty remained in a turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life
As the attack began, Lt. Comdr. Samual G. Fuqua of the U.S.S. Arizona was stunned and knocked down by a large bomb. Upon regaining consciousness, he directed the rescue of the wounded. He remained on board until all that could be rescued, were off.
During the attack, Chief Edwin Boatswain Hill led his men to help the U.S.S. Nevada by castiong off the lines and swam back to his ship. Later, while attempting to let go the anchors, he was blown overboard and killed by several bombs.
Ensign Herbert C. Jones was supplying ammunition to the antiaircraft battery of the U.S.S. California when he was fatally wounded by a bomb blast. He refused rescue saying in words to the effect, “Get out of here before the magazines go off.”
On board his flagship, the U.S.S. Arizona, Rear Adm. Issac Kidd immediately went to the bridge and courageously led as Senior Officer Present Afloat until Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit that killed kid.
By his inspiring leadership, his valiant efforts and his extreme loyalty to his ship and her crew, Lt. Jackson C. Pharris saved many of his shipmates from death and was largely responsible for keeping the California in action during the attack.
On board the U.S.S. California, Radio Electrician Thomas J. Reeves, assisted in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he was overcome by smoke and fire, which resulted in his death.
When Machinist Donald K. Ross's station on the U.S.S. Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious.
On the U.S.S. California, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Robert R. Scott remained at his battle station, an air compressor after everyone evacuated Scott remained saying “It's my station. I will stay and give them air as long as the guns are going.”
Realizing that Utah was capsizing, Chief Watertender Peter Tomich remained at his post in the engineering plant, until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing lost his own life.
Comdr. Cassin Young, on board the U.S.S. Vestal, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage distant from the U.S.S. Arizona, and subsequently beached the upon determining that such action was required to save his ship.
When it was seen that the U.S.S.Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Seaman 1st Class James R. Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so crew members could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.
As commanding officer of the U.S.S. Arizona, Capt. Franklin Van Valkenburgh gallantly fought his ship until the U.S.S. Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge that resulted in the loss of his life.