Courtesy of City of Savannah Archives
George K. Gannam
At the Nov. 22 City Council meeting, Mayor Eddie DeLoach proclaimed December 7, 2016 as George K. Gannam Day in Savannah in honor of the sacrifices of Staff Sergeant George Gannam, "all those lost in World War II, as well as Savannah’s World War II Veterans," a City spokesperson says.
December 7 is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the loss of Sergeant Gannam in that attack, at age 22. Gannam is recognized as Savannah’s first World War II casualty.
The Benedictine Military School grad enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1939. Stationed with the 18th Air Base Group at Wheeler Field in Hawaii, Gannam was killed as he tried to prevent the destruction of aircraft at Hickam Field.
The City of Savannah also announces the availability of the George Karam Gannam papers, an archival collection of artifacts and records documenting George Gannam’s life and military career donated to the City’s Municipal Archives by the Gannam family so they could be accessible to the public.
Highlights of the collection include correspondence from Bishop O’Hara, personal items Sergeant Gamble had with him in Hawaii at the time of his death, and a flag given to the family by Mayor Thomas Gamble on the first anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Two exhibits featuring the collection are now available for the public to view: a physical exhibit in City Hall’s Council Chamber accessible during City Hall tours, and an online exhibit available at www.savannahga.gov/Gannam.
For more information contact Luciana Spracher, City of Savannah Research Library & Municipal Archives, at Lspracher@savannahga.gov or (912) 651-6411.