WWII sailor coming home to Michigan nearly 80 years later

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — U.S. Navy Ensign Francis Charles Flaherty will be buried in mid-Michigan Saturday after his body was finally accounted for in 2019, almost 78 years after his death.

A release from the Navy Personnel Command details Flaherty’s act of heroism on the USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941. It says he stayed aboard in a gun turret, holding a flashlight for others to be able to see and escape.

Flaherty was honored with multiple medals posthumously, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Medal of Honor. The USS Flaherty (in operation from 1943 to 1966) was named in his honor.

Flaherty, a native of Charlotte, Michigan, still has family living in Toas, New Mexico.

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