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Hawaii News

Bravery of USS Vestal crew saved many lives

  • Video by Cindy Ellen Russell and William Cole

    Repair ship USS Vestal was in the shadow of the big-gunned Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. Out of the chaos came at least two acts of heroism. The daughter of one of the men returned to the scene on Wednesday to hear the story about the white mooring that's often forgotten.


    Joe Ann Taylor’s father, Joseph “Joe” George, a petty officer 2nd class aboard the USS Vestal, helped six men escape from the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument chief historian Daniel Martinez showed her a map during a tour focused on the Vestal on Wednesday at Pearl Harbor.


    The Navy repair ship USS Vestal listed from damage caused by two bombs that hit her during the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.


    Navy Petty Officer Lauren Vannewhouse took a photo during a tour about the USS Vestal. The private tour was attended by family and friends Wednesday.

History focuses most on the cataclysmic explosion on the USS Arizona and sunken battleship memorial — still a tomb for over 900 crew — in remembering the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Read more

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