Medal of Honor Profile: Machinist Donald K. Ross, USN (1910-1922)

MACHINIST DONALD K. ROSS, USN (1910-1992): For heroism during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on the USS Nevada (BB-36) and other ships in Pearl Harbor. Working alone in the dynamo room, he continued to supply the power needed to move the battleship out to sea. Attained the rank of captain. He later authored “Nipsic to Nimitz” and “Washington State Men of Valor,” and spoke at Kitsap schools on American history. Lived in Port Orchard; in 1997, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) was named in his honor.

“For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own life during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941.

“When his station in the forward dynamo room of the U.S.S. Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Machinist Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious.

“Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returned and secured the forward dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room where he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness he returned to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it.”