Pearl Harbor Sailors Posthumously Awarded Medals

By Hawaii.com Team

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The infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is shown in this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo. The USS Arizona is pictured in flames after being hit. Photo: Paul Walsh.

Two men are being posthumously awarded medals for helping save the lives of their fellow sailors during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Navy said Monday the late Lt. j.g. Aloysious Schmitt is being recognized for sacrificing his own life while helping his shipmates escape their capsizing battleship. The USS Oklahoma chaplain is being awarded the Silver Star.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph George of the USS Vestal is being awarded the Bronze Star for saving the lives of several sailors from the USS Arizona. George tossed the sailors a rope they used to crawl to safety as flames engulfed the Arizona.  (Some details of this story are included in a related article here and the tale of the USS Arizona survivors’ mission to honor George is here.)

George died in 1996.

The Navy will present their families with the medals on Thursday, the 76th anniversary of the attack.

This story was originally published as Pearl Harbor sailors to be posthumously awarded medals by The Garden Island on Monday, December 4, 2017.

Visit the special Pearl Harbor section at www.hawaii.com/pearl-harbor.

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