- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Sunday, 22 November 2015 00:36
- Published: Friday, 23 May 2003 00:00
On December 7, 1998, 57 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rear Admiral William G. Sutton, Commander, Naval Base Pearl Harbor recalled a few of the men who survived the attack, whose actions exemplified the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment. "Aboard the Arizona, Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Donald Graham braved intense flames and machine gun fire, to release the lines connecting the battleship with the repair ship USS Vestal. Graham's actions allow the Vestal to get underway to safety."
Donald Graham was awarded the Navy Cross for his action 7 December 1941
"The Navy Cross is presented to Donald A. Graham, Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy, for exceptional courage, presence of mind, and devotion to duty and disregard for his personal safety while serving aboard the U.S.S. ARIZONA (BB-39) during the Japanese attack on the United States Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Although his shipmates were leaving the blazing U.S.S. ARIZONA, on his own initiative Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class Graham faced the intense fire on the deck, severe bombing and withering machine gun fire of enemy strafing planes to release lines connecting the battleship with a repair vessel, U.S.S. VESTAL, thus aiding the latter in getting underway. The conduct of Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class Graham throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navel Service."
Information researched and compiled by I. B. Nease and N. A. Nease and provided on USSARIZONA.ORG free of charge.
May not be reprinted in any form, other than educational use, without prior written permission of the author.
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