Pearl Harbor Attack

The USS West Virginia BB-48 was the third Colorado class battleship completed. She was commissioned on December 1, 1923. She was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. She was moored outboard of the USS Tennessee on battleship row off of Ford Island. The battleship USS Arizona was to her rear. She received hits from two armor-piercing bombs and multiple torpedo hits, causing massive flooding. Prompt damage control measures kept her from capsizing. Fragments from a hit on the USS Tennessee mortally wounded Captain Mervyn S. Bennion. Despite this, he continued to remain on the bridge, giving orders until he succumbed to his wounds. For this act, he received the Medal of Honor posthumously. One of the people carrying Captain Bennion from the bridge was Mess attendant Second Class Doris Miller. He was later ordered to man an anti-aircraft gun. Despite a lack of training or familiarity, he manned the anti-aircraft gun. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. This award would later be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Doris Miller would later lose his life in 1943 when his ship, the USS Liscome, was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine off Makin Atoll. Despite a valiant effort, the USS West Virginia settled on the harbor floor on an even keel. She was evacuated. A total of 106 men were killed aboard the USS West Virginia in the attack. She was refloated and was given temporary repairs before departing for the US Mainland for refit and modernization. The refit was not completed until June 1944. She was back in service in time to participate in the Battle of Surigao Strait, the last battleship-to-battleship engagement in history. She also participated in gunfire support of the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The USS West Virginia was decommissioned on January 9, 1947. Please view the list to learn the names of those who lost their lives on that day.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A small boat rescues a seaman from the 31,800 ton USS West Virginia burning in the foreground. Smoke rolling out amidships shows where the most extensive damage occurred. Note the two men in the superstructure. The USS Tennessee is inboard., Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsa.8e00810, PD-USGov

The U.S. Navy battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) with her main batteries trained to starboard, in her final configuration after being rebuilt at Puget Sound Navy Yard, June 1944., United States Navy, U.S. Navy photo , PD-USGov

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
1 Welborn L. Ashby, F3c 54 Benjamin E. Bargerhuff, Jr., SF3c
2 William L. Barnett, F3c 55 Frank J. Bartek, Jr., F2c
3 Mervyn S. Bennion, Capt (CO) 56 Charlie V. Booton, Sea1c
4 Fred H. Boyer, F1c 57 George O. Branham, Mldr1c
5 Ennis E. Brooks, F1c 58 Charles D. Brown, EM3c
6 Riley M. Brown, F1c 59 John E. Burgess, Jr., Sea2c
7 William C. Campbell, Cox 60 William G. Christian, Bkr2c
8 Harold K. Costill, F3c 61 Louis A. Costin, F1c
9 Charles E. Cottier, F1c 62 Howard D. Cromwell, CM2c
10 Eugene V. Downing, Sea2c 63 Donald L. Drum, F2c
11 George S. Dunn, Jr., Sea2c 64 Edward N. Durkee, CMM (AA)
12 Clement E. Durr, Sea1c 65 Tommy Dye, F1c
13 Roland W. Edwards, F2c 66 Ronald B. Endicott, F3c
14 Richard B. England, MM2c 67 Woodrow W. Evans, GM3c
15 Jose S. N. Flores, Matt2c 68 Jack Foth, EM1c
16 Gilbert R. Fox, F1c 69 Neil D. Frye, Matt3c
17 Angelo M. Gabriele, F1c 70 Claude R. Garcia, SF2c
18 Bibian B. Gonzales, Sea1c 71 Myron E. Goodwin, Sea2c
19 Arthur Gould, RM3c 72 Harry J. Halvorsen, F1c
20 Hugh B. Harriss, HA1c 73 Hadley I. Heavin, F2c
S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
21 Fred A. Hilt, MM1c 74 Howard D. Hodges, F1c
22 Joseph E. Hood, F1c 75 William D. Horton, Sea1c
23 Ira D. Hudson, F3c 76 William C. Jackson, EM3c
24 Carl S. Johnson, Sea1c 77 Sanford V. Kelley, Jr., GM3c
25 Chester F. Kleist, Cox 78 Milton J. Knight, Jr., F1c
26 William P. Kubinec, F2c 79 Henry E. LaCrosse, Jr., SK3c
27 Thomas F. Leary, F1c 80 Joseph S. L. Lemire, Sea1c
28 Eugene V. Lish, Mus1c 81 Royle B. Luker, F3c
29 Donald W. Lynch, F1c 82 Arnold E. Lyon, GM3c
30 Charles W. Mann, Sea1c 83 Jesus M. Mata, Matt1c
31 Donald J. Mathison, FC3c 84 Luther K. McBee, Sea1c
32 Thomas A. McClelland, Ens 85 Lawrence J. McCollom, MM2c
33 Clarence W. McComas, Sea1c 86 Quentin G. McKee, Sea2c
34 John A. Meglis, F1c 87 John R. Melton, Sea1c
35 Enrique C. Mendiola, Matt1cz 88 Joe E. Mister, Matt1c
36 Wallace A. Montgomery, MM2c 89 William F. Morris, F1c
37 Albin J. Mrace, WT2c 90 Clair C. Myers, Sea1c
38 Earl T. Nermoe, Sea1c 91 Paul E. Newton, Sea1c
39 Emile S. Noce, EM2c 92 Maurice M.O’Connor, MM1c
40 Clifford N. Olds, F1c 93 Arnold J. Owsley, Sea1c
S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
41 Walter J. Paciga, Sea2c 94 James A. Paolucci, Sea2c
42 Andrew A. Pinko, EM3c 95 Jack A. Pitcher, Sea1c
43 Roy W. Powers, SF2c 96 George B. Reid, SF1c
44 Albert Renner, F2c 97 Leonard C. Richter, MM1c
45 Ernest C. Rose, SC1c 98 Glenn D. Sahl, F3c
46 Theodore H. Saulsbury, OC2c 99 Richard M. Schuon, Jr., Sea1c
47 George W. Scott, SK2c 100 Gordon E. Smith, SK2c
48 Ernest E. Speicher, EM2c 101 Otis D. Sterling, Matt1c
49 George E. Taber, MM2c 102 Ernie E. Tibbs, CMM (PA)
50 Keith W. Tipsword, MM1c 103 Albert P. VanderGoore, F1c
51 Joseph Vogelgesang, Jr., F2c 104 Thomas G. Wagner, Sea1c
52 Bethel E. Walters, F1c 105 Harold Wilbur, CM3c
53 Clyde R. Wilson, Sea1c 106 Lester F. Zobeck, Sea1c