July 02, 2007
Rear Admiral Eugene Bennett Fluckey has passed away. He was one of the most decorated US submariners of WW2 and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courage in attacking a Japanese munitions convoy with a submarine in water only 30 feet deep.
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Barb. Place and date: Along coast of China, 19 December 1944 to 15 February 1945. Entered service at: Illinois. Born: 5 October 1913, Washington, D.C. Other Navy award: Navy Cross with 3 Gold Stars. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Barb during her 11th war patrol along the east coast of China from 19 December 1944 to 15 February 1945. After sinking a large enemy ammunition ship and damaging additional tonnage during a running 2-hour night battle on 8 January, Comdr. Fluckey, in an exceptional feat of brilliant deduction and bold tracking on 25 January, located a concentration of more than 30 enemy ships in the lower reaches of Nankuan Chiang (Mamkwan Harbor). Fully aware that a safe retirement would necessitate an hour's run at full speed through the uncharted, mined, and rock-obstructed waters, he bravely ordered, "Battle station--torpedoes!" In a daring penetration of the heavy enemy screen, and riding in 5 fathoms of water, he launched the Barb's last forward torpedoes at 3,000-yard range. Quickly bringing the ship's stern tubes to bear, he turned loose 4 more torpedoes into the enemy, obtaining 8 direct hits on 6 of the main targets to explode a large ammunition ship and cause inestimable damage by the resultant flying shells and other pyrotechnics. Clearing the treacherous area at high speed, he brought the Barb through to safety and 4 days later sank a large Japanese freighter to complete a record of heroic combat achievement, reflecting the highest credit upon Comdr. Fluckey, his gallant officers and men, and the U.S. Naval Service.
As commander U.S.S. Barb he took a ship with a mediocre war record and made it one of the most decorated of all US Submarines. In just under 2 years under his command, the ship sank more tonnage than any other submarine, over 80 enemy ships including a cruiser, a destroyer and a carrier! On his own initiative he put a a landing party on Karafuto (now Sakhalin Island), which destroyed a railroad bridge and a train. (This was the ONLY US amphibious assault on the home islands and it was accomplished without loss!) The Barb was (unsurprisingly) the only US submarine to have a train on her battle flag.
See there...at the bottom center...
Fluckey also earned 4 Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and numerous other awards, which made him one of the most decorated American servicemen of all time. He retired in 1972 a Rear Admiral, having served in several highly important positions after the war, including head of Naval Intelligence.
Update: Much more at Eaglespeak
Naughty, naughty! A submarine is a boat, not a ship.
(I've never understood that. But even today, if you talk to a Navy man, he'll refer to USS Ohio as a "boat" even though theTridents displace 18,000 tons and each one carries more firepower than the entire US military had in WWII.)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Jul 3 20:15:20 2007 (+rSRq)
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