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My guest is Mr. Carl Clark, 97 year old Navy veteran who received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguished Device was honored on January 18, 2012, an honor he was denied because of his race. Mr. Clark has been credited with saving the lives of some of his shipmates during a World War II battle. Mr. Clark was serving as an E-6 Steward First Class aboard the USS Aaron Ward when Japanese kamikazes attacked the destroyer near Okinawa in May 1945. Clark was 29 years old. Though he suffered a broken collarbone in the attack, Mr. Clark saved the lives of several men by dragging them to safety. He also put out a fire in an ammunition locker that is said to have potentially cracked the destroyer in half. He was the only survivor on the eight-man damage control team he served on. Mr. Clark was credited for single handily for saving the ship. The Captain of the ship thanked him for saving the ship but told him, he couldn’t put his name in the report. “It wouldn’t look good to say one black man saved the ship.” Mr. Clark had to wait 66 years before he was honored by the Navy. Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, pinned the medal on Clark himself, in a ceremony held in Moffett Field, California.
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