Eugene F. George
Eugene Frank George (born 23 April 1925, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 12 November 1942) was a sailor in the United States Navy during World War II, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
George enlisted in the Navy on 18 May 1942, aged 17, and reported for duty on board the heavy cruiser San Francisco at Pearl Harbor on 17 July.
As an anti-aircraft gunner, he participated in the bitterly fought naval engagements against the Japanese off the Solomon Islands following the American invasion of Guadalcanal on 7 August.
On 12 November, the San Francisco and other ships of Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner's Task Force 67 formed a protective screen off Lunga Point while troop reinforcements debarked from the transports and landed on Guadalcanal. During early afternoon, a force of enemy fighters and bombers attacked the ships, but effective anti-aircraft fire and air cover repelled the attack and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy planes.
One torpedo-bomber, damaged by anti-aircraft fire from the screening ships, crashed San Francisco, destroying the after control station and demolishing three 20 mm gun mounts. Seaman Second Class George, who courageously refused to abandon his gun in spite of the onrushing plane, blazed away at the attacker until killed by the doomed aircraft.
For his grim perseverance and relentless devotion to duty in the face of certain death, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
In 1943, two destroyer escorts were named USS George in his honor.
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- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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