Schmitt, Aloysius Herman, LTJG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Christian
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1940-1941, 410X, USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
Service Years
1939 - 1941
Chaplain Christian
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese), BM2 to remember Schmitt, Aloysius Herman, LTJG.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
St. Lucas, IA
Last Address
St. Lucas, IA

Casualty Date
Dec 07, 1941
Hostile, Died
World War II
Location of Interment
Christ the King Chapel, Loras College - Dubuque, Iowa
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenPearl Harbor FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
WW II Memorial National Registry
  2016, World War II Fallen
  2016, Pearl Harbor Fallen
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2016, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, WW II Memorial National Registry

 Tributes from Members  
Remember Pearl Harbor: The Sacrifice of ... posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog, TWS Memorial "A" Team), FC2 432
World War II chaplain's remains identifi... posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog, TWS Memorial "A" Team), FC2 432
Dubuque, IA Encyclopedia Dubuque posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog, TWS Memorial "A" Team), FC2 432

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1940-1941, 410X, USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
 Colleges Attended 
Loras College
  1928-1932, Loras College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Sep 29, 2016, Remains Identified
  Oct 02, 2016, General Photos2
  Oct 07, 2016, Buried In Iowa
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

There was nothing yet infamous about December 7, 1941, when Fr Aloysius Schmitt woke up aboard the battleship the USS Oklahoma to celebrate Mass that Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor.

But just minutes after the liturgy ended, a surprise Japanese attack was underway. Fr Schmitt and a number of other sailors who were in one of the ship’s flooding compartments and was trapped in a compartment with other sailors. They managed to find a small porthole that provided a way out of the ship.. He helped man after man to escape through a small porthole. Sailors urged him to flee, too, but Schmitt declined and continued to point sailors to safety.

In the frantic moments that followed, survivors reported that Fr Schmitt scuppered his own chance of escape and instead helped 12 men through the porthole to safety. When the compartment flooded, cutting off the last means of escape, Schmitt died. 


Name of Award
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during  World War II 

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Chaplain) Aloysius Herman Schmitt (NSN: 0-83472), United States Navy, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy, while serving as a Chaplain on board the U.S.S. OKLAHOMA, during the attack by Japanese forces at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. Chaplain Schmitt was aboard the U.S.S. OKLAHOMA when that vessel capsized and was entrapped in a compartment where only a small porthole provided outlet for escape. With unselfish disregard for his own plight, Chaplain Schmitt assisted his shipmates through the porthole. While his shipmates were in the process of rescuing him his body became wedged in the narrow opening. Realizing that other men had come into the compartment looking for a way out, Chaplain Schmitt insisted that he be pushed back into the ship so that they might escape. Calmly urging them on with a pronouncement of his blessing, he remained behind while they crawled out to safety.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 308 (November 1942)
Action Date: December 7, 1941
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
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