Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

TWO STREETS AT THE CARL VINSON VA MEDICAL CENTER NAMED FOR PEARL
HARBOR HEROES



On the hospital grounds of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center Dublin, Ga., you will find two abiding memorials to those who lost their lives on that infamous Sunday in December, 75 years ago.   Nearly three years after their deaths, the Navy Department named the streets of the naval hospital under construction in Dublin after naval personnel killed during World War II.  Among those honored were two officers who were killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Johnson Drive, the main drive which runs from the entrance to the west toward the west end of the VA campus, is named for  Commander Samuel E. Johnson, of Clanton,
Alabama, was killed while serving as a physician aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.

Commander Johnson, a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, was serving aboard the Arizona as the Senior Medical Officer in the forward dressing room when the attack began.

         Commander Johnson and 1176 other men were killed as the ship was destroyed and sunk by enemy aircraft bombs and fire.




U.S.S. ARIZONA
(above)


Alexander Drive, which runs from the Middle Georgia State University building, by the water towner and toward the  rear entrance along Bellevue Road was named for a dentist,  ieutenant Commander, Dr. Hugh Rossman Alexander.

Lieutenant Commander Hugh R. Alexander, of Belleville, PA, was awarded the  Navy and Marine Corps Medal  for heroism in operations against the enemy Japanese forces on  December 7, 1941, while attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. Oklahoma.  Lieutenant Commander Alexander was aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma during the attack made by the Japanese against the United States Naval Forces at Pearl Harbor. As a result of damage by the enemy the Oklahoma capsized shortly after the attack was begun, entrapping Lieutenant Commander Alexander and others in a compartment where portholes provided the only possible means of escape.



U.S.S. OKLAHOMA
(left)


Despite his knowledge of the desperate situation in which he was placed and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Commander Alexander heroically went about the crowded compartment and deliberately selected the more slender of those entrapped whom he conducted to the portholes and aided them in making their escape through these narrow openings. Continuing his intrepid action until the end, Lieutenant Commander Alexander gallantly laid down his life in order that his shipmates might live. This action on his part rendered him individually conspicuous among his comrades and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.



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