Lieutenant Commander Jackson C. Pharris, USN, (1912-1966)
Jackson Charles Pharris was born on 26 June 1912 in Columbus, Georgia. He enlisted from that same state in the U.S. Navy in April 1933. After reenlisting, he served on board USS Mississippi, where he was appointed to the warrant rank of Gunner in January 1941. That February, he received orders to USS California and was on board when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. During the attack, he was wounded by explosions and rendered unconscious from the nauseous fumes. Regaining consciousness, he bravely led an ordnance repair party to counterflood the vessel. For his action on this occasion, Pharris was awarded the Navy Cross. In June 1942, he was commissioned an Ensign.
In July 1944, Pharris was promoted to Lieutenant and reported to the Twelfth Naval District at San Francisco, California. That October, he was assigned to the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company at Quincy, Massachusetts, in order to help fit out USS Saint Paul. A year later, Pharris transferred for treatment at the the Naval Hospital at Long Beach, California. Following discharge from the hospital in April 1946, he received orders to the Naval Ammunition and Net Depot at Seal Beach, California, later transferring to Terminal Island Naval Base, at San Pedro, California. During this period, he continued to be rehabilitated for the wounds he received on board California.
In March 1947, Pharris was ordered to the Naval Training and Distribution Center at Port Hueneme, California. In May 1948, he retired due to his continued disability and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on the retired list. On 25 June, the Navy Cross awarded for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" at Pearl Harbor was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. President Harry S. Truman presented the award during a White House ceremony. Jackson C. Pharris died on 17 October 1966 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
USS Pharris (FF-1094), 1974-1995, was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Jackson C. Pharris.
This page features all the images we have concerning Jackson C. Pharris.
Photo #: NH 106422|
Lieutenant Jackson C. Pharris, USN
Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 239.
Jackson C. Pharris was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while leading a repair party on board USS California (BB-44) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941.
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph
Online Image: 48KB; 580 x 765 pixels
Photo #: 80-G-705728
President Harry S. Truman
Presents the Medal of Honor to three former servicemen, in ceremonies at the White House, 25 June 1948.
Recipients are (left to right):
Lieutenant Commander Jackson Charles Pharris, USN (Ret);
Pharmacist's Mate First Class Francis Junior Pierce, USN;
and Staff Sergeant John R. Crews, U.S. Army.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection
Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 585 pixels
Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.
Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Jackson C. Pharris, USN (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 239):
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