Pentagon upgrades WWII medal for heroic chaplain from Iowa
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Pentagon has approved a Silver Star medal of heroism for a Navy chaplain from Iowa who’s been credited with helping sailors escape a battleship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Station KDTH reports that Pentagon staffers will travel to Dubuque next week and present the nation’s third-highest medal to the family of Aloysius Schmitt. He was born in St. Lucas and attended what is now Loras College in Dubuque.
His remains were returned to the area in October 2016. Steve Sloan, Schmitt’s great-nephew, helped organize the efforts to upgrade Schmitt’s honors.
Schmitt is credited with saving a dozen sailors from the USS Oklahoma after it was attacked. Witnesses say he turned down several chances to escape in order to help men through a porthole.
Information from: KDTH-AM, http://www.kdth.com