Charlotte native remembered for Pearl Harbor heroics

Dec 7, 2016

Ensign Francis C. Flaherty grew up in Charlotte, Michigan. He shined a flashlight towards a door and pushed his shipmates to safety as the U.S.S. Oklahoma was capsizing during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Credit Courtesy photo / Geni.com

It's been 75 years since the Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One of those fallen sailors grew up in mid-Michigan, and his final act of selflessness earned him our nation's highest military honor. Current State's Kevin Lavery recalls the life of Francis Flaherty, U.S. Navy.


Today is the 75th anniversary of one of the most seminal events in modern history. On December 7, 1941, a bold surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy decimated the bulk of the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The disaster sparked America’s entry into World War Two.

As the attack unfolded and destruction raged, one Michigan sailor chose to forego his own safety so that his shipmates might have a chance at survival.

Current State’s Kevin Lavery has the remarkable story of Ensign Francis Flaherty. He was 22 years old when he was killed at Pearl Harbor. Flaherty was in a gun turret aboard the battleship Oklahoma, which capsized during the attack. His actions earned him the Medal of Honor.