Military February 17, 2020

By Katie Lange, DOD: Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Owen Hammerberg
Owen Francis Patrick Hammerberg (May 31, 1920 – February 17, 1945) was a United States Navy diver who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for rescuing two fellow divers.

Hammerberg was born at Daggett, Michigan, May 31, 1920; his family subsequently moved to Flint when he was young. He enlisted in the United States Navy June 16, 1941 and subsequently served in battleship USS Idaho (BB-42) and mine sweeper USS Advent (AM-83). In 1941, he underwent instruction at the Deep Sea Diving School, Washington, D.C., and was assigned duty with the Salvage Unit under Service Force, Pacific Fleet.

He lost his life during rescue operations at Pearl Harbor February 17, 1945. Disregarding all personal danger, he rescued one diver who had been trapped in a cave-in of steel wreckage while tunneling under a sunken LST. After this rescue, Hammerberg went even farther under the buried hulk and, while rescuing a second diver, was pinned down by another cave-in and perished.[1] Boatswain’s Mate Hammerberg posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

In 1955, the destroyer escort USS Hammerberg (DE-1015) was named for him. A street in Flint and a playground in Detroit are also named Hammerberg in his honor.

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