Joseph George

Joseph George was a Chief Boatswain’s Mate in the United States Navy who played a significant role in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. His courageous actions saved the lives of several sailors aboard the USS Arizona battleship. Here’s an overview of his heroic deeds:

Actions at Pearl Harbor: On December 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Joe George was stationed aboard the repair ship USS Vestal, which was moored alongside the USS Arizona. When the Arizona came under heavy fire and began to sink, George observed sailors trapped on the sinking ship.

Despite orders to cast off lines and save his own ship, George realized the dire situation on the Arizona and made a split-second decision to disobey orders. He threw a line from the Vestal to the Arizona, allowing stranded sailors to escape by traversing the line hand-over-hand to safety.

Saving Lives: Joe George’s quick thinking and bravery saved the lives of at least six sailors from the doomed USS Arizona. Without his intervention, these men would likely have perished in the sinking ship.

Recognition: Initially, George’s actions were not officially recognized, and he faced disciplinary action for disobeying orders. However, decades later, his heroism came to light thanks to the efforts of survivors and historians who advocated for his recognition.

In 2006, the United States Navy posthumously awarded Joe George the Bronze Star Medal for his courageous actions at Pearl Harbor. His bravery serves as a shining example of selflessness and compassion in the face of adversity.

Legacy: Joe George’s story highlights the often-overlooked acts of heroism that occurred during the chaos of Pearl Harbor. His actions underscore the importance of individual courage and sacrifice in times of crisis, and his legacy lives on as a reminder of the human capacity for bravery and compassion.