U.S.S. West Virginia Sailors Hoist Their Glasses at Monkey Bar, Pearl Harbor, HI
L to R: Jack Miller, Frank Kosa, Clifford Olds.Olds and 2 other crew members , Ronald Endicott and Louis Costin were trapped in a sealed compartment in the West Virginia's bow after it sank on December 7th. Any rescue attempt meant certain death. The 3 stayed alive until December 24th according to a marked calendar found with their bodies which were recovered after the ship was raised from the harbor bottom in May, 1942.
USN Captain Mervyn S. Bennion, U.S.S. West Virginia
Captain Bennion was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. As he laid mortally wounded on the West Virginia's command bridge, Bennion refused to be removed from his burning ship. He continued to give orders, directing his crew's actions. Bennion's last order to his men before he died was to leave him and "abandon ship." Captain Bennion was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Doris Miller Awarded Navy Cross, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Miller was a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia as a Messman Third Class during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was awarded the Navy Cross--the third highest navy award for gallantry during combat--for "distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack. Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain who had been mortally wounded to a place of greater safety and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge."Miller was personally awarded the medal by Admiral Chester Nimitz. He was the first African-American to be awarded the honor.
Damaged Battleships following Japanese Attack, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Smoke billows from the U.S.S. West Virginia, which is pictured in the back and center of the photograph. The ship eventually sank.Floating on the left is the U.S.S. Maryland. On the right is a capsized U.S.S. Oklahoma.