Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Ensign Francis C. Flaherty, USNR

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Francis Charles Flaherty was born in Charlotte, Michigan, on 15 March 1919. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in July 1940 and was commissioned as an Ensign in December of that year. During the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor, he was serving on board USS Oklahoma (BB-37). As the ship was capsizing, Ensign Flaherty remained in a gun turret holding a flashlight to permit others in the turret to see in order to escape. For his sacrificial heroism on that occasion, Esnign Flaherty was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

The escort ship USS Flaherty (DE-135), 1943-1966, was named in honor of Ensign Flaherty.