Joseph Leon George

Joseph Leon George

Birth
Franklin, Heard County, Georgia, USA
Death 27 Sep 1996 (aged 80)
Burial Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
Plot 10, 0, 39A
Military BMC, US NAVY
Memorial ID 691786 · View Source
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Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Joseph L. George posthumously received the Bronze Star with a V for Valor for his actions on December 7, 1941. He was on board the repair ship USS Vestal tied next to the Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

A Japanese bomb exploded the ammunition storage on the USS Arizona, dealing a fatal blow to the ship and it’s complement. Six of the Arizona sailors managed to find their way to the deck, but still trapped and badly burned. George, after several attempts, successfully threw a heaving line bridging the 80 foot distance between the two ships. The sailors were able to transfer over to the Vestal traversing the rope hand over hand.

Captain Cassin Young of the Vestal back in 1941, commended his actions by not only aiding men from the Arizona but assisted in getting the Vestal clear of the burning Arizona.

After his passing, his daughter heard tapes George had recorded for a oral history and learned of his heroism. Navy regulations require two sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses. Against all odds, two of the five still surviving sailors from the Arizona were the men that George rescued. Finally in July of 2017, he received the Bronze Star for his actions on that horrible day.


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  • Maintained by: marilyn walsh
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 691786
  • marilyn walsh
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Leon George (8 Oct 1915–27 Sep 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 691786, citing Little Rock National Cemetery, Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by marilyn walsh (contributor 47700573) .