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Pearl Harbor: The 15 Medal of Honor Heroes

Pearl Harbor: The 15 Medal of Honor Heroes

By Peter Grier for CSMonitor

 

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Chief Petty Officer John W. Finn was in bed in his apartment near the Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station, about 12 miles from Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row. Suddenly aircraft began zooming by his window. He heard the rasp of machine gun fire.

Throwing on clothes, he jumped into his car and drove to his post. At first he obeyed speed limits. Then a plane roared overhead, the red rising sun on its wing clearly visible. At that point, Finn floored the accelerator.

Meanwhile, Capt. Samuel G. Fuqua was below decks on his ship, the USS Arizona. Hearing an air raid siren, he rushed up to the quarterdeck. He told the officer of the deck to sound general quarters.

“About this time I heard a plane overhead,” he later told a congressional committee. “I glanced up. I saw a bomb dropping, which appeared to me was going to land on me or close by.”

Lt. Jackson C. Pharris was a gunner on the nearby USS California. He was in charge of an ordnance repair party on the third deck when a Japanese torpedo struck almost directly below his station.

The explosion blew him to the steel ceiling. He fell back stunned and injured by the concussion.

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