More honors for George Freeth, 1911.


George Freeth of Honolulu nei is the Hawaiian youth who holds six gold medals [the sixth gold medal], an award from the Congress of America for his fearless rescuing of lives, witnessed at Venice, California, and at the seaside of the Atlantic Ocean, while he was away from home several years ago; there was an announcement aboard the Steamship Sierra last Friday. It said that the Japanese changed the name of their little town in which they live, close to Port Los Angeles, to “Freeth Town”. There was a gift given by the Japanese showing their esteem for this youth for his fearless rescue of some of their kinsmen caught in a terrible storm there some time ago.

The Los Angeles newspaper of July 17th reported that the night before some hundreds of incense burners were lit by the Japanese outside of their shacks and in their church at Freeth, to commemorate the American youth who saved eleven lives of that town in Venice from a big storm three years earlier.

This town was called Maikura by the Japanese, but in honor of this youth, the name was changed, and it is called Freeth, and the town will be called that for all times.

On that day of the great storm, several Japanese fishing boats were caught within it, and because of the terrible power of this storm, some of the boats were overturned, and the men of these vessels were close to death. George Freeth was there at the time, and when he saw the precarious state of those Japanese, he swam out to save them; while floating atop a board, he brought two Japanese easily to shore, and he rescued the rest of them in the same way–fetching a few at a time until all eleven were ashore. Freeth was exhausted by the time all of them were brought in.

This fearless deed was spoken of by a representative of that district to Congress, and Freeth was awarded a gold medal by the Legislature; it was the sixth of that kind of medal known.

[See also: Arthur C. Verge, “George Freeth: King of the Surfers and California’s Forgotten Hero.” California History, vol. LXXX no. 2/3 (Summer/Fall 2001), pp. 82-105.]

(Aloha Aina, 8/5/1911, p. 2)


Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XVI, Helu 31, Aoao 2. Augate 5, 1911.

4 thoughts on “More honors for George Freeth, 1911.

  1. I too found the picture of Freeth’s medal in the Honolulu newspaper. I contacted the US Coast Guard and they have no record of his award. The medal is identical to their award. Did you ever find anything else out about the medal? I asked the USCG archivist to dig deeper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s