WO Donald K. Ross, Medal of Honor

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WO Donald K. Ross, Medal of Honor's Geni Profile

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Donald Kirby Ross

Also Known As: "Survived the sinking of the USS Nevada"
Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Beverly Lincoln County Kansas
Death: 1992 (82)
Bremerton Kitsap County Washington
Place of Burial: Cremated, Ashes Scattered over USS Nevada
Immediate Family:

Husband of Helen Ross
Father of Fred Rockwell Ross; Robert Allen Ross; Penny Hoffman and Donna Branch

Managed by: Shirley Marie Caulk
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About WO Donald K. Ross, Medal of Honor


World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

Born in in Beverly, Kansas, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1929 and retired a Captain in 1956. During the attack on the Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he served as Warrant Officer onboard the battleship USS NEVADA (BB 36). When his station in the forward dynamo room became untenable due to smoke, steam and heat, he ordered his men to leave. He remained to perform all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious. Upon being rescued, he returned to secure the dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room. There he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion but recovered to return to his station, where he remained until directed to abandon it. On December 7, 1991, he attended 50th Anniversary ceremonies at Pearl Harbor during which a memorial was dedicated to his old ship, USS Nevada. He died at his home in Bremerton, Washington 6 months later. On June 28, 1997, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) was commissioned in his honor.



During the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Nevada was badly damaged by bombs and torpedoes. Ross distinguished himself by assuming responsibility to furnish power to get the ship underway — the only battleship to do so during the Japanese attack.[1][2] When the forward dynamo room where he was stationed filled with smoke and steam, he ordered his men to leave and continued servicing the dynamo himself until being blinded and falling unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he went back to secure the forward dynamo, then worked in the aft dynamo room until losing consciousness a second time due to exhaustion. After waking, he again returned to his duties until Nevada was beached. His actions kept the ship under power, preventing it from sinking in the channel and blocking other ships in the harbor.

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WO Donald K. Ross, Medal of Honor's Timeline

Beverly Lincoln County Kansas
Age 82
Bremerton Kitsap County Washington
Cremated, Ashes Scattered over USS Nevada