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.
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
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.
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.
Best Moment As Normandy operations wound up, he got his first large ship command, the destroyer ENDICOTT, and a month after the D-day invasion of Europe he came to the aid of two British gunboats under attack by two German corvettes. Charging in as dawn?s light broke the horizon with his uncanny ability and determined leadership, with only one gun working, but with a band of brothers for a crew, he unhesitantly engaged both enemy vessels at point blank range, sending both to the bottom. When I asked him about this action, he replied, "What else could I do? You engage, you fight, you win. That is the reputation of our Navy, then and in the future."
The Admiral was a strong believer in standards, some would say, from the old school, as the enemy Captain of one of the corvettes soon learned. Coming up from the sea ladder, he would not salute the colors of the ENDICOTT, and was promptly tossed back into the sea. The third time did the trick, and he was taken prisoner and allowed on deck.