Thursday, December 7, 2017
Sailor Gets Medal for Saving USS Arizona Lives-- Part 2
Jumping into the water was not an option as it was on fire because of the fuel from the ruptured tanks on the Arizona.
Joe George "threw the rope anyway. It was caught and secured to the Arizona, and Stratton and Bruner began scooting along it, hand over hand, for 75 feet.
"'As we got closer, he was standing there nodding his head yelling, 'You can make it! You can make it!' Stratton said in a phone interview from Hawaii.
The two did make it -- along with four others from the Arizona. Two eventually died from their injuries, but those who survived (and Stratton and Bruner are still alive) credit George with saving them. despite his act, he never was awarded a medal.
"That will change Thursday. His family will see him honored at Pearl Harbor on the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941."