Skip to main content
Cannon, George H.

Cannon, George H.

Related Content
First Lieutenant, USMC, (1915-1941)

George Ham Cannon was born on 5 November 1915 in Webster Groves, Missouri. He attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan and was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. During his last year, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Cannon graduated in June 1938 and resigned from the Army. He was then appointed to the United States Marine Corps from Michigan as a Second Lieutenant. After completing Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 1939, he reported for sea duty on board the light cruiser Boise. In July 1940, he transferred to the Post Service Battalion at Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, which was followed by an assignment to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, California.

In February 1941, Cannon received orders to Battery H, Second Defense Battalion, with the Battery transferring to the Sixth Defense Battalion a month later. During the Summer, his unit relocated to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he was promoted in August to First Lieutenant. In September, Cannon reported as Battery Commander of Battery H, Sixth Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force on Sand Island, Midway Islands. On 7 December, the Japanese attacked the island by surprise. Though severely wounded by an enemy shell, he remained at his post until all of his wounded men were evacuated. Despite his courage and dedication to his men, Cannon lost his own life due to a subsquent loss of blood from his wounds. For his "distinguished conduct in the line of his profession" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. George H. Cannon is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

USS Cannon (DE-99), 1943-1944, was named in honor of First Lieutenant George H. Cannon.

This page features the only image we have concerning George H. Cannon.