Assemblymember Quirk Honors Pearl Harbor Survivor, Mickey Ganitch, as Veteran of the Year

Thursday, June 21, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Quirk (D-Hayward) honored Mr. Mickey Ganitch as his 2018 Veteran of the Year for the 20th Assembly District at an annual eMr. Gantich stands during the pledge of allegiance vent in Sacramento.


Mr. Ganitch enlisted in the Navy on January 21, 1941.  He was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania battleship at Pearl Habor, as an E-1 Seaman Recruit on August 15, 1941. Mr. Ganitch also tried out for, and was selected as a member of the ship’s football team.

On December 6, 1941, the USS Pennsylvania went into dry dock for propeller repairs. The football team was to disembark at 8:00am on December 7 in preparation for the 1:00pm game that day against the USS Arizona for the Fleet Football Championship. Plans changed when, at 7:55am that day, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Mr. Ganitch went up to the crow’s nest in full football uniform where, being 100 feet above the main deck, he had a bird’s eye view of the attack. A 500 pound armor piercing bomb hit close to the smoke stack, about 45 feet from Mr. Ganitch, killing 23 men and injuring others.


Mr. Ganitch continued to serve throughout WWII and the Korean Conflict. In 1960, after completing recruiting school, he was assigned to recruiting duty at the Post Office in Oakland. “I had come full circle” said Mr. Ganitch, “this is where I enlisted and began my career in the Navy.” Mr. Ganitch retired from the Navy as a Senior Chief Quartermaster on October 10, 1963.

Mr. Gantich, his wife and Assemblymember Quirk

“It was a privilege to have Mr. Gantich join me in Sacramento for this ceremony. He courageously and selflessly served our country for many years. Mr. Gantich turns 99 this November and I truly admire his spirit and energy. He is deserving of this recognition and more,” stated Assemblymember Quirk.


“I’m lucky I survived, but so many didn’t and it is my extreme honor to be here representing all of the veterans who can’t be here. Thank you to Assemblymember Quirk for this special recognition” said Mr. .