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|45k||Francis Charles Flaherty, the son of Francis F. and Gertrude M. Flaherty, was born on 15 March 1919 in Charlotte, Michigan. Flaherty attended Charlotte High School,
graduating in 1936, and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 06 July 1940, shortly after graduating, and was appointed ensign on 12 December
1940. While serving in USS Oklahoma (BB 37) he sacrificed his life in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 07 December 1941. When his ship was being abandoned, he
remained in a turret holding a flashlight so that all of his men could see to escape. When Oklahoma rolled completely over, he was trapped inside the hull along with
many others. Thirty-two crewmembers of Oklahoma were rescued from inside the hull over the next few days, but Ensign Flaherty was not among them. For this supreme devotion
to duty, Ensign Flaherty was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Flaherty and 428 other men were entombed in Oklahoma, which was raised in 1943. From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries. In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified, including Flaherty, as non-recoverable. He was memorialized at the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and a memorial headstone was placed in Maple Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Charlotte, Michigan.
Scientists at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency have been working ceaselessly to identify military members who died in past conflicts. On 30 September 2019, using DNA reference samples from family members, Flaherty's remains were identified. His remains were returned to Charlotte, Michigan in August of 2021 and he was laid to rest in the family plot at Maple Hill Cemetery.
The destroyer escort USS Flaherty (DE 135) (1943-1946) was named in his honor.
(Photo from the the Home of Heroes)
|167k||17 January 1943: Orange, Tex. - Flaherty (DE 135) ready for sideways launching at the Consolidated Steel Co. shipyard.
(Source: National Archive Photo; Courtesy of Task Group 22.3 Association, Captain Jerry Mason, USN (ret.)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|129k||undated wartime image||John Klar
|102k||USS Flaherty transferring a survivor of the USS Frederick C. Davis (DE 136) to a unidentified CVE.
(Photo taken from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War 11", by Theodore Roscoe
England, United Kingdom
|50k||Oil Painting showing Flaherty underway. (© Sam L. Massette)||From The DESA archives|
|View the USS Flaherty (DE 135) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Flaherty as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Flaherty's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 26 Jun. 1943 - 16 Oct. 1943||Lcdr. Maxim William Firth, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '31) (Bennington, Vt.)|
|2.) 16 Oct. 1943 - 14 Sep. 1944||Lcdr. Means (Mike) Fernandis Johnston Jr., USN (USNA ‘39) (Schlater, Miss.) (Ret. as Adm.)|
|3.) 14 Sep. 1944 - 07 Dec. 1945||Lcdr. Howard Carlton Duff, USNR (USNA '33) (Sweetwater, Tex.)|
|4.) 07 Dec. 1945 - 11 Jan. 1946||Lt. Maurice Golden, USNR (Decomm. CO)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 21 March 2023