Wednesday’s Hero

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Seaman 1st Class James R. Ward
Seaman 1st Class James R. Ward
20 years old from Springfield, Ohio
USS Oklahoma
September 10, 1921 – December 7, 1941
U.S. Navy

This past Friday marked the 71 anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor. One of the ships that was destroyed in the attack was the battleship USS Oklahoma. On board the Oklahoma was a young man by he name of James Richard Ward who had only enlisted in the Navy a little more than a year before. When the attack happened, the Oklahoma was hit by three torpedoes and began to list dangerously. It quickly became apparent that she would capsize. The order was given to abandon ship. However, Ward stayed in his turret holding a flashlight so his fellow sailors could escape. He didn’t make it out.

For his actions that day, Sea1c Ward was posthumously awarded the Medal Of Honor:

For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his 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, Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.

He was also honored with the destroyer escort USS J. Richard Ward (DE-243) being named after him.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

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