One of the most successful submarine commanders during World War 2, Eugene B Fluckey (aptly nicknamed Lucky) served aboard USS-S2 and USS Bonita before taking command of USS Barb in April 1944. Whilst patrolling off the east coast of China in January 1945 Commander Fluckey located a large convoy of more than 30 Japanese ships. The ships were anchored in Mamkwan harbour which was heavily mined. Fluckey ordered an immediate attack through the shallow, mined and rock formations which presented in itself a difficult attack run. Japanese frigates had been situated in a position to protect the convoy but undeterred Commander Fluckey launched four torpedoes forward and aft and scored eight direct hits including an ammunition ship. Once the attack was complete the USS Barb headed towards open sea whilst under attack from the Japanese Navy and couldn’t submerge until in deep open water.
For this action Commander Fluckey received the Medal of Honor on March 23rd 1945 from James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.
Commander Fluckey’s other awards included Four Navy Crosses, Two Distinguished Service Medals and two Legion of Merits! An incredible set of awards for someone established as one of the greatest submarine skippers in the history of the US Navy. He also sent a landing party on his twelfth patrol in USS Barb onshore to the Japanese mainland in July 1945 to destroy a Sixteen car train in what was to be the only landing by US military forces on Japan during WW2. Fluckey had a distinguished post war career serving the US Navy until his retirement as a Rear Admiral in 1972.
His awards are as follows:
Medal Of Honor (Navy), Navy Cross (plus 3 stars), Distinguished Service Medal (plus Oak Leaf), Legion of Merit (officer Grade plus Gold Star), 2 x Presidntial Unit Citations, 2 x Navy Unit Commendations, American Defense service, Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific campaign, WW2 Victory, National Defense service, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Portugese Medalha de Merito Militar for his time as the Naval Air Attache in Portugal (August 1950 to July 1953).
In 2003 the United States Naval Academy presented Eugene B Fluckey with the Distinguished Graduate Award.
Eugene Bennett Fluckey, born October 5th 1913, Washington D.C. Died June 28th 2007 Annapolis, Maryland. Buried U S Navy Academy Cemetery.
Resourced Information from:
Wikipedia, Medal Of Honor (Portraits of Valor beyond the call of duty) Nick Del Calzo & Peter Collier, Artisan press N.Y. , & Naval subleague.org