Lawmaker seeks medals for Northeast Iowa Chaplain who died at Pe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawmaker seeks medals for Northeast Iowa Chaplain who died at Pearl Harbor

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Chaplain Aloysius Schmitt was the first chaplain of any faith killed in World War II. Schmitt was aboard the USS Oklahoma as Japanese aircraft launched their assaults on Pearl Harbor. He was ministering to the dying a wounded in the ship's sick bay when the Oklahoma was struck by a torpedo causing it to capsize. Rather than evacuating the badly damaged ship, Schmitt remained on the ship to directed others to safety before the Oklahoma sank.

Rep. Bruce Braley is asking the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for a full review of Chaplain Schmitt's records with the believe that his service and sacrifice make him eligible for some of the Navy's highest awards for valor. The criteria for the awards for valor include actions taken at great danger and at personal risk.

In a letter Braley wrote to Mabus Braley details several other individuals aboard the Oklahoma that received awards for valor, including the Medal of Honor.

“The United States of America, the state of Iowa, and the residents of Dubuque are eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by this brave man,” Braley wrote.

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