Pearl Harbor: 1st Lt. Annie G. Fox

       

First Lt. Annie G. Fox was on duty at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. For her outstanding performance, she was recommended for and awarded the Purple Heart. Because of that, it is often misreported that she was injured during the attack; in fact, she was not.

Fox was presented the Purple Heart on October 26, 1942 at Hickam Field. Colonel William Boyd, Post Commander read the citation which was commanded by Brigadier General W.E. Farthing and signed by Colonel L.P. Turner, Air Corps Executive Officer.
 

The Purple Heart was awarded for her “outstanding performance of duty and meritorious acts of extraordinary fidelity. . . During the attack, Lieutenant Fox, in an exemplary manner, performed her duties as head Nurse of the Station Hospital. . . in addition she administered anaesthesia to patients during the heaviest part of the bombardment, assisted in dressing the wounded, taught civilian volunteer nurses to make dressings, and worked ceaselessly with coolness and efficiency, and her fine example of calmness, courage and leadership was of great benefit to the morale of all with whom she came in contact. ..”


 

The Purple Heart was originally established by Gen. George Washington in 1782. It was re-instituted in 1932 for the bicentennial of Washington's birth. Although generally awarded to service members wounded in action, it was also awarded for any "singularly meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity or essential service." Later in the war, the requirements for award of the Purple Heart were limited to wounds received as a result of enemy action. At that time, individuals were given other awards to replace the Purple Heart.

On October 6, 1944, 1st Lieutenant Fox was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. The Report of Decorations Board cited the same acts of heroism as those cited for the Purple Heart. The last paragraph of the report reads: 

“The Bronze Star Medal is in lieu of the Purple Heart awarded. . . Since Lieutenant Fox was not wounded in action. Cancellation of the award of the Purple Heart is also recommended.” The recommendation of the board was approved.

(Honolulu Star Bulletin, March 22, 1945; http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/a_people_at_war/women_who_served/articles_women_who_served/annie_fox_bronze
_star.html)