Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Joanne's Uncle Dan

On December 7 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We all know that. But one day scrolling through my Facebook ’news’ feed, I came across something that WAS real news to me. Some of the Japanese planes split off to take out the Navy’s Patrol Wing One in Kaneohe Bay. The first man to die on that legendary day was Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel T Griffin. Griffin enlisted in 1930 and served on a few battleships before entering flight school where he was trained to pilot the Catalina Flying Boat, one of the Navy’s most advanced planes. At this time both Officers and Enlisted men flew. There are conflicting reports of exactly what happened but according to family members he was flying when his plane was shot, Griffin bailed out and then was shot in the water.
That last piece of information came from a woman that was my neighbor for years, Joanne Sturgeon. To her he was known as Uncle Daniel. Griffen was her maternal grandmother’s brother. Joanne had shared an article about her uncle on Facebook that I found so intriguing. The point the author stressed is, these stories get lost and graves of heroes aren’t recognized for the individual sacrifice each made. On February 25 1943 the Navy named a 306 foot destroyer escort The Griffin. The ship ran many missions before it was decommissioned in 1946. Now it’s up to us to pass his story along.


Please share the story of this hero who was the first to make the ultimate sacrifice at Pearl. Thank you to Joanne for this history lesson and the connection that makes Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel T Griffin one of my Hometown Heroes.

Joanne’s Granny and Grandpop are also in the funeral photo. Here's a link to the original story~

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