As of December 7, it has been 75 years since Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. naval fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On that day, nearly 2,400 sailors, Marines, and soldiers were killed in the Japanese attack.
While the U.S.S. Arizona still rests in the water marking the site of the attack, the last man off the naval ship on that fateful day was from Laddonia, Mo.
A special display in the honor of the late U.S. Navy Captain and Rear Admiral Samuel Fuqua is being exhibited upstairs at the Audrain County Historical Museum in Mexico, Mo.
The exhibit features a brief biography, a Legion of Merit medal, and an official Congressional Medal of Honor.
On December 7, 1941 the then Lieutenant Commander Fuqua rushed to the quarterdeck when he was stunned and knocked down by the explosion of a large bomb that hit that area and penetrated several decks before starting a severe fire.
After regaining consciousness, he began directing the fighting of the fire and rescue ofwounded and injured personnel.
Another explosion made the ship rise out of the water before settling rapidly by the bow.
A forward part of the ship had a spreading fire that burne many men.
In spite of the conditions, continued to direct the fighting of the fires while the wounded and burned men could be taken from the ship.
It was noted that the then Lieutenant Commander Fuqua was calm and cool during the event helping him make “excellent judgement” that inspired those around him and saved many lives.
His Legion of Merit award came for his service fighting the enemy in the Southwest Pacific War area from January 9, 1945-August 15, 1945.
Rear Admiral Samuel Glenn Fuqua was born on October 15, 1899 and married his wife Edna while attending high school in Laddonia.
Later in life he served as marshal for Laddonia’s centennial parade in August 1971.
He died at the age of 87 on January 27, 1987. His wife Edna (Hammett) Fuqua died in March 1986 and were married for 63 years at the time of his death.
His family tree included a great-great-great-great grandfather William Stark, who fought under George Washington with the First Continental Dragoons at Valley Forge.
Rear Admiral Fuqua and Edna was once featured on “This Is Your Life.” The full video cane be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0B5IlWJ4V8.