Pearl Harbor sailors to be posthumously awarded medals

Lt. j.g. Aloysious Schmitt, left, and Chief Boatswain's Mate Joseph George, right, are being posthumously awarded medals for helping save lives during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. (Photos: U.S. Navy).

HONOLULU (AP) — Two men are being posthumously awarded medals for helping save the lives of their fellow sailors during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Navy said Monday the late Lt. j.g. Aloysious Schmitt is being recognized for sacrificing his own life while helping his shipmates escape their capsizing battleship.  The USS Oklahoma chaplain is being awarded the Silver Star.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph George of the USS Vestal is being awarded the Bronze Star for saving the lives of several sailors from the USS Arizona. George tossed the sailors a rope they used to crawl to safety as flames engulfed the Arizona.

George died in 1996.

FILE – In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, part of the hull of the capsized USS Oklahoma is seen at right as the battleship USS West Virginia, center, begins to sink after suffering heavy damage, while the USS Maryland, left, is still afloat in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, File)

The Navy will present their families with the medals on Thursday, the 76th anniversary of the attack.