So, how was your war?
A little more than 15-years ago after 93-years on our little planet, one of the greatest US Navy tactical leaders passed away.
He and his crew had an incredible record during WWII that I would encourage you to review in full here ... but after the Navy decided that they were running out of Navy Crosses to reward the man then all of 31-yrs old, he earned the Medal of Honor for events in his 11th Patrol.
Attention to citation:
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of USS BARB during her Eleventh War Patrol” along the east coast of China from 19 December 1945, to 15 February 1945. After sinking a large ammunition ship and damaging additional tonnage during a 2-hour night battle on 8 January, Commander Fluckey, in an exceptional feat of brilliant deduction and bold tracking on 23 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 hours’ 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 yards range. Quickly bringing the ship’s stern tubes to bear, he turned loose four more torpedoes into the enemy, obtaining eight direct hits on six of the main targets to explode a large ammunition ship and causing inestimable damage by the result of 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 Commander Fluckey, his gallant officers and men, and the United States Naval Service.”
After receiving his Medal of Honor, Fluckey gave a signed card to each member of the crew that read as follows:
As Captain it has been an outstanding honor to be your representative in accepting the Congressional Medal of Honor for the extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty which you and every officer and man in the BARB displayed. How fortunate I am, how proud I am, that the President of the United States should permit me to be the caretaker of this most distinguished honor which the Nation has seen fit to bestow upon a gallant crew and a fighting ship…the “BARB.”
He was 32 at war's end and served until 1972 as a Rear Admiral.
What a life.