Joseph K. Taussig Jr.
On 7 December 1941, Ensign Joseph K. Taussig Jr. had just relieved the officer of the deck on the battleship Nevada (BB-36) and was in the midst of executing morning colors when a Japanese bomber opened fire and shredded the National Ensign. Taussig sounded general quarters and rushed to his battle station, as the gunnery officer for the starboard antiaircraft batteries. As he fired at the swarming Japanese planes, he was hit by an enemy round that shattered his leg. Finding his left foot tucked under his armpit, he said, “That’s a hell of place for a foot to be.” Despite his injury, the young ensign refused to leave his post and continued to direct fire against the enemy attacking the fleet at Pearl Harbor. For his courageous action, Taussig received a Navy Cross and lost a leg. Three days after the amputation, he was back on active duty.