Charles Jackson French

BHoppy

Walk On
Jun 26, 2001
117
233
43
Read this and thought I would share with the Omaha crowd. Sorry long, and unable to copy picture of him


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WWII uncovered: Charles Jackson French a Hero's Hero
"On September 5, 1942, United States Navy Petty Officer First Class Charles Jackson French, of Omaha Nebraska, swam through the night for 6 - 8 hours pulling a raft of 15 wounded sailors with a rope around his stomach through shark infested waters after the USS Gregory was hit by Japanese naval fire near Guadalcanal. French successfully brought the men to safety on the shores of the Solomon Islands. French was the first black swimmer to earn the Navy Medal for his heroism in 1943.
French's story first came to light when Robert N. Adrian a young ensign, told a reporter from the Associated Press about how Charles braved the Pacific Ocean to bring the men to safety.
Ensign Adrian was the only one on the bridge to survive and floated over into the water as the ship sank below him. Hearing voices, he found a life raft filled with 15 wounded men. Adrian, though superficially wounded, was able to hang on. “I knew that if we floated ashore we'd be taken as prisoners of war," he said. "Then French volunteered to swim the raft away from shore. He asked for help to tie a rope around his waist and towed them to safety." Adrian told him it was impossible that he would only be giving himself up to the sharks that surrounded them "French responded that he was not afraid. He was a powerful swimmer, and swam all night, 6 to 8 hours, until they were eventually saved by a landing craft."
Once Charles Jackson French was identified, he became a national hero. A depiction of French's heroic actions was included in the WWII Commemorative Card Set produced by Gum Inc., based in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. In addition to the War Gum trading card, his story was told in syndicated comic strips, on calendars and he made public appearances across the country to promote the sale of War Bonds. Pictured is Charles with his sister Viola during a public appearance at a football game in Omaha, Nebraska,1943. He is also recognized by the International Swimming Hall of Fame." (Sources: The International Swimming Hall of Fame and www.swimmingworldmagazine.com)
Petty Officer First Class Charles Jackson French passed away on November 7th, 1956 at the age of 37. Lest We Forget.
 

Wannabee8

Redshirt Freshman
Sep 23, 2016
944
2,281
93
Omaha
Found an article with some old quotes from French back in the day. Thought it was funny how the person taking the quotes misspells words to make French sound more black. (I know racism in the 40’s? Who’da thunk!)

“I noticed they wuz sharks a circling around that raft a waitin for they dinner. So I thought what’s wurse them sharks or them Japs’ at least them sharks will be quick. I don’t know bout them Japs. They be some mean “mothers.” So, I jest keep paddling. I nearly peed on myself when one of them sharks teched my feet. I jes froze and tried to surface and float, git my feet outta the water. They wuz a whole lot of other folks in the water, some of um hurt purty bad.”
 

baseball31ne

Recruiting Coordinator
Mar 8, 2002
6,248
973
113
Found an article with some old quotes from French back in the day. Thought it was funny how the person taking the quotes misspells words to make French sound more black. (I know racism in the 40’s? Who’da thunk!)

“I noticed they wuz sharks a circling around that raft a waitin for they dinner. So I thought what’s wurse them sharks or them Japs’ at least them sharks will be quick. I don’t know bout them Japs. They be some mean “mothers.” So, I jest keep paddling. I nearly peed on myself when one of them sharks teched my feet. I jes froze and tried to surface and float, git my feet outta the water. They wuz a whole lot of other folks in the water, some of um hurt purty bad.”
This writer was probably just trying to get ahead on the journalism of today’s standards. But in all seriousness it is ridiculous that those words were written that way win I highly doubt that this man spoke that way. Kind of shows that journalism is been less than honest for a long long time.
 

Wannabee8

Redshirt Freshman
Sep 23, 2016
944
2,281
93
Omaha
This writer was probably just trying to get ahead on the journalism of today’s standards. But in all seriousness it is ridiculous that those words were written that way win I highly doubt that this man spoke that way. Kind of shows that journalism is been less than honest for a long long time.
What’s the difference between worse and “wurse?”
 

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