Lifeline: Pearl Harbor’s Unknown Hero
Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m.
Repeats Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 2 a.m.
Also airs on Fusion on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.
Narrated by actor Gary Sinise, this documentary tells the story of how U.S. Navy sailor Joe George became an unlikely hero when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, and how he was recognized with a Bronze Medal for his actions more than 70 years later.
A USS Vestal crewman, Joe was not your model sailor. He fought both inside and outside the boxing ring, liked his beer a little too much at times and had a stubborn, defiant streak that once in a while got him thrown in the brig. But on that “Day of Infamy,” George did something extraordinary: He became one of America’s first heroes of WWII.
Ignoring a direct order to cut the lines from the USS Vestal, which was moored alongside the burning and sinking USS Arizona, the sailor made a crucial decision that saved six lives and impacted future generations. George could see that the crewmen were injured badly, trapped, waving and pleading for help as fire raged on the Arizona’s deck beneath them. He found a weighted heaving line and threw it toward the men, who secured the line.