Aloha! Today I salute Ensign John Charles England. He was the focus of several news stories in Colorado last week during our visit to the Centennial State. From Legacy.com (link),
Ensign John Charles England perished aboard the USS Oklahoma on the morning of December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Ensign England had been buried in an unknown's grave in Punchbowl National Cemetery in Hawaii. He was recently identified and will be buried with Navy Honors next to his parents Sam and Thelma England in Evergreen Cemetery.
Ensign England was born on December 11, 1920 in Harris, Missouri. His family then moved to Alhambra, California. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as an Apprentice Seaman on September 6, 1940. After active duty training on board the USS New York, he attended Naval Reserve Midshipman's School, New York, N.Y. and was appointed Midshipman, USNR, March 6, 1941. He completed his training on June 5 and was commissioned Ensign, USNR, June 6, 1941.
He was next assigned duty under instruction at the Naval Radio School, Norton Heights, Connecticut, reporting June 20, 1941. Upon detachment from school, he reported on September 3, 1941 to the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.
Ensign England survived the initial attack on Pearl Harbor and escaped topside as the ship was capsizing. He remembered the men still in the radio room. He returned three times to the radio room, each time guiding a man to safety. He left to go back below deck for the fourth time and was never seen again. Ensign England's gallant effort saved three men, but cost him his life.
Two ships have been named after Ensign England: USS England DE-635 and The USS England DLG-22 as well as the barracks at NSTS Great Lakes.
He is survived by his granddaughters: Bethany Glenn, and Lisa Osgard and a niece: Katy Bemiss. He has two great grandsons: Jake Osgard and Casey McDougall.
His daughter, Victoria Louise England, who was one month old at the time of his death and whom he never met, and his parents died in the years since Ens England's death.
"Who more than self his country loved and mercy more than life".
The USS Oklahoma
Today's giveaway is freedom. I ask you to observe a moment of silence for military personnel like Ensign England who make the ultimate sacrifice.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
USS Oklahoma Memorial in Pearl Harbor