While flipping the pages of the Daily Journal the morning of Nov. 6, the photo of Joe George in editorials caught my eye. Not many would know him by the sight of his picture, but I’d been familiarized with his story through our son.
Our son, Dwight Lockwood, owns the oldest bar on the Island of Oahu which was identified by Lauren Bruner as the favorite watering hole of the USS Arizona crew. Our son is himself is a veteran of the US Navy having served as an aviation mechanic aboard the aircraft carriers USS Truman, USS Kennedy and the USS Roosevelt during the Global War on Terrorism.
Our son later joined the US Army infantry and returned to the war, this time in Afghanistan with the 35th Battalion of the 25th Infantry Division based on Oahu. Upon returning from the war to the island, he was able to purchase Smith’s Union Bar at 19 N. Hotel St., Honolulu. He soon learned of the bar’s relevance to the history of the USS Arizona.
The bar was privileged for a few years to host the Arizona survivors during their reunions until travel to the island was no longer possible for them and as some passed away.
The walls of his bar have on display many photos and memorabilia signed by Lauren Bruner, one of the six men saved.
Lauren and his surviving shipmates made sure that the story of Joe George was known and that it was recognized they owed their lives to a brave man who summoned extraordinary strength to throw a life-saving line to them over a distance that they deemed an impossible throw.
If historians have occasion to visit Honolulu, they’d do well to check out the history of the bar and ask for the owner. I’ll be sending him the editorial featuring Joe George as published.
Nice feature by Mr. Marek.