Harold W. Sears, Jr.
Ensign

USN
USS West Virginia
1940-1941

Ensign Harold W. Sears, Jr. was a junior division officer aboard the USS West Virginia at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  He was ashore when the attack started, made his way back to the Navy Yard, but could only get aboard the U.S.S. PHOENIX. As that vessel started out, Ensign Sears asked the Commanding Officer if he needed a turret officer. The answer being in the negative, Sears, as the PHOENIX passed near the U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA, dove over the side and swam to the WEST VIRGINIA. (From the Pearl Harbor battle report of R. H. Hillenkoetter)


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