Bulkeley, John Duncan, VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1969, 111X, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV)
Service Years
1933 - 1988
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by John (JED) Dupee (Harbor Pilot), BMC to remember Bulkeley, John Duncan (Sea Wolf), VADM.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
New York
Last Address
Silver Spring, Maryland

Date of Passing
Apr 06, 1996
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity

John Bulkeley never forgot his early years, the hard-iron like discipline, the poor material condition of the fleet, and the need to always be ready, in his own words, "?to be able to conduct prompt, sustained, combat operations at sea." Assigned as President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, a post held by many distinguished naval officers since it?s inception almost at the beginning of the Navy, his boundless energy would take him aboard every ship in the Navy, from keel to top of the mast, from fire control system to inside a boiler, discussing readiness and sharing sea stories and a cup of coffee with the men who operate our ships, planes, and submarines. He was relentless in his quest to improve the safety and material condition of the fleet and the conditions for the health and well being of those that manned them. He conducted his inspections by the book in strict accordance with standards as many a man well knows, but his love for the sailors always came through.
Other Comments:

Bulkeley's Medal of Honor citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism, distinguished service, and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, in Philippine waters during the period 7 December 1941 to 10 April 1942. The remarkable achievement of LCDR Bulkeley's command in damaging or destroying a notable number of Japanese enemy planes, surface combatant and merchant ships, and in dispersing landing parties and land-based enemy forces during the 4 months and 8 days of operation without benefit of repairs, overhaul, or maintenance facilities for his squadron, is believed to be without precedent in this type of warfare. His dynamic forcefulness and daring in offensive action, his brilliantly planned and skillfully executed attacks, supplemented by a unique resourcefulness and ingenuity, characterize him as an outstanding leader of men and a gallant and intrepid seaman. These qualities coupled with a complete disregard for his own personal safety reflect great credit upon him and the Naval Service.

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  1960-1962, 111X, NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay

Rear Admiral Lower Half

From Month/Year
- / 1960

To Month/Year
- / 1962

NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay Unit Page

Rear Admiral Lower Half

111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare

Guantanamo Bay

 NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay Details

NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay

Garrison - Base Station


Parent Unit


Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2007
Memories For This Unit

Best Moment
Challenged in his first assignment as Commander, Guantanamo Naval Base, he met and defeated the challenge of Fidel Castro?s threats of severing the water supplies of the base. Today, Guantanamo stands as a symbol of American resolve because men like John Bulkeley stood up, refused to bend, and took the initiative to stare down belligerent threats of lesser men not friendly with America. Perhaps a tribute of the time was the wanted poster, offering 50,000 pesos for him, dead or alive, by the communist leadership of Cuba along with a description, "?a guerrilla of the worst species". At Guantanamo, as those that have visited know, there is a hill that overlooks the northeast gate, A Gate, with a sign that reads "Cuba, Land Free from America". As Cuban troops began moving about, his 19-year-old-driver, a Marine lance corporal, came running up and stood directly in front of the Admiral, ready and willing to take the bullet that would end the life of his Commander. The Admiral loved his Marines; the Marines loved and respected him in return. He would be with them day and night, in fatigues, ready to conduct war if necessary but more to defend Americans and The Land of the Free against the communist yoke of tyranny. As COL Steven?s, the former commanding officer of the Marine barracks at Guantanamo, wrote, adding three more stories to the legend of John Bulkeley, "The Admiral had the compassion for the men in the field, taking time again and again to bring them relief, whether cookies on Christmas morning or visiting them at odd hours of the night to ease their nerves. They loved this man." The Admiral would construct on that hill the largest Marine Corps insignia in the world as a quiet reminder that the United States Marine Corps stood vigilance over the base. In tribute, a Marine would write, "John Bulkeley, Marine in Sailor?s clothing."

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22 Members Also There at Same Time
NAVBASE Guantanamo Bay

Deuel, Donald, PO3, (1962-1966) 00 00-0000 [Other Service Rank]
Dolan, Owen, CPO, (1940-1970) BM BM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Graham, Thomas, PO2, (1960-1964) BU BU-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Griffith, Robert, PO2, (1958-1962) PH PH-8288 Petty Officer Second Class
Kellett, John, PO1, (1958-1978) PN PN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Kellett, John, PO1, (1958-1978) PN PN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
NEITZEL, Larry K., PO2, (1953-1961) CM BU-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Smith, Howard Red, PO2, (1960-1967) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Frye, Ernest, PO3, (1960-1963) RM RM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Gallagher, Emmett, PO1, (1960-1968) PN PN-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Hartman, Darrell, SCPO, (1957-1976) ET ET-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Julius, Barry, PO3, (1957-1961) 00 00-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Riggin, Dennis, PO3, (1960-1963) CS CS-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Leahey, Peter, PO3, (1956-1960) PN PN-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Bjarnason, Paul Henrik, CAPT, (1930-1961) OFF Captain
Gregory, Lee, LT, (1961-1965) OFF Lieutenant
Fenno, Jr, Frank, RADM, (1925-Present) Rear Admiral Lower Half
Huckabee, Kenneth, CPO, (1955-1974) Petty Officer Second Class
Stokes, Howard, CPO, (1958-1984) Petty Officer Second Class
Nelson, Darrell, CPO, (1958-1977) EN Petty Officer Third Class
Mishler, Wayne, CPO, (1961-1985) Seaman
Whitehouse, Robert, MCPO, (1962-1991) Seaman
Communications Station

Pratt, Fred, PO2, (1958-1964) ETN ETR-0000 Petty Officer Second Class

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