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 Francis Charles Flaherty

Francis Charles Flaherty

Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan, USA
Death 7 Dec 1941 (aged 22)
Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Cenotaph Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan, USA
Plot F-12
Memorial ID 5783769 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Ensign Flaherty was stationed on the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) which was moored on Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. Immediately after the first bombs fell, three torpedoes hit her broadside and the great ship began to capsize. Even more torpedoes struck as the men were trying to abandon ship. He remained at his station on one of the gun turrets and held alight so that his crew might escape. The Oklahoma rolled completely over and trapped him inside the hull with many others. Over the next few days thirty-two were rescued from inside the hull, but Ensign Flaherty was among the 429 members who were entombed inside the hull until the ship was raised for salvage in 1943. The remains were recovered and buried in mass graves marked "Unknowns" at the National Memorial Center of the Pacific in Honolulu. His name is inscribed in the Courts of the Missing in that cemetery and a memorial headstone placed at the Maple Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Charlotte, Michigan. His citation reads: For conspicuous devotion to duty and extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When it was seen that the U.S.S. Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ens. Flaherty remained in a turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.

Bio by: Tom Todd

Family Members

Gravesite Details Medal of Honor Winner Ensign US Navy WWII





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mark Pawelczak
  • Added: 18 Sep 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5783769
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Charles Flaherty (15 Mar 1919–7 Dec 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5783769, citing Maple Hill Cemetery, Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .