James R. Ward

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James Richard Ward
James R. Ward;h92309.jpg  A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Seaman First Class James R. Ward, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1921-09-10)September 10, 1921
Springfield, Ohio
Died December 7, 1941(1941-12-07) (aged 20)
Killed in the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1940 – 1941
Rank Seaman First Class
Unit USS Oklahoma
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

James Richard Ward (September 10, 1921 – December 7, 1941) was a US Navy sailor who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Ward enlisted in the United States Navy at Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 25, 1940. After basic training, he reported on board the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37).

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Oklahoma took three torpedoes soon after the attack began. She listed dangerously, and it was soon apparent that she would capsize. The order was given to abandon ship, but Seaman First Class Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight, thus sacrificing his own life to permit other members of the crew to escape. For his heroism at that time, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When it was seen that the U.S.S. Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.


In 1943, the destroyer escort USS J. Richard Ward (DE-243), was named in honor of Seaman First Class Ward.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]