SAN FRANCISCO — A Northern California congresswoman says a black Navy veteran credited with saving the lives of some of his shipmates during a battle in World War II will be getting a long-awaited medal for his heroism.
U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo said Thursday that after a delay of 66 years, Carl Clark of Menlo Park will be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguished Device in January.
Clark was serving as a steward aboard the USS Aaron Ward in May 1945 when Japanese kamikazes attacked near Okinawa.
Though he suffered a broken collarbone in the attack, Clark was credited with dragging men to safety and dousing a fire in an ammunition locker that could have sunk the ship.
The congresswoman and the 95-year-old Clark both say the recognition took so long because of racism.