Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, went on Eternal Patrol at 11:45 PM EDT on June 28, 2007. At time of death he was in the Hospice Unit at Anne Arundel Hospital, Annapolis Md.
Hand salute to our Greatest American Submarine Hero!
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Born in Washington, DC on October 5, 1913 and was raised in Neoga, Illinois.
In 1931 he entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, graduated in 1935 and received his commission as an Ensign.
Initial assignments were aboard the battleship Nevada (BB-36) and the destroyer McCormick (DD-223).
Entered the submarine service in 1938 by instruction at Naval Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut and assigned to the submarine S-42.
In 1941-1942 he completed five war patrols on Bonita (SS-165) and was promoted to Lieutenant.
As Commanding Officer of Barb (SS-220) he established himself as one of the greatest submarine skippers, credited with the most tonnage sunk by a U.S. skipper during World War II. 17 ships including a carrier, cruiser, and frigate.
Awarded four Navy Cross Medals for extraordinary heroism during the eighth, ninth, tenth, and twelfth war patrols of Barb. During his famous eleventh patrol, he received the Medal of Honor. Barb received two Presidential Unit Citations for the eighth and eleventh patrols and the Navy Unit Commendation for the twelfth patrol.
Was the Personal Aide to the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz from late 1945 to mid-1947.
Selected for flag rank in 1960 and reported as Commander, Amphibious Group 4, presidency of the Board of Inspection and Survey and a temporary assignment as Task Force Director of the Shipyards Appraisal Group.
In June 1964 to June 1966 Rear Admiral Fluckey served as Commander Submarine Force, Pacific.
Served as Director of Naval Intelligence.
Prior to his death he was the most decorated living American.
Was one of six Eagle Scouts known to have received the Medal of Honor.
This profile was created on June 29, 2007.
Medal of Honor 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 [9 m] of water, he launched the Barb's last forward torpedoes at 3,000 yard [2.7 km] 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."
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Chain of Command Commanding Officer of the submarine tender Sperry (AS-12).
Other Memories USS Sperry (AS-12) was a Fulton-class submarine tender in the United States Navy. She was named for Elmer Sperry.
Sperry was laid down on 1 February 1941 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California; launched on 17 December 1941, just 10 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; sponsored by Mrs. Helen Sperry Lea, daughter of Elmer Ambrose Sperry; and commissioned on 1 May 1942, Captain Robert H. Smith in command.
Sperry completed trials and shakedown training; and, on 2 August 1942, she reported for duty to the Commander, Submarines, Pacific, at Pearl Harbor. She remained at Oahu for almost three months, refitting seven submarines and making voyage repairs to four others.
On 26 October, she weighed anchor and headed for Australia. After cautiously skirting the Solomon Islands and making a three-day stopover at Noumea, New Caledonia, the submarine tender reached Brisbane on 13 November. During her two-month stay ?down under,? Sperry refitted seven submarines and made a voyage repair on one.
On 17 January 1943, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on the 31st. After 10 refits, 10 voyage repairs, and over four months at Pearl Harbor, Sperry got underway on 8 June.
Steaming in company with USS Kern (AOG-2) and Coast Guard cutter, Taney, she reached Midway Island on 12 June. Her stay there was probably the busiest period in her career. During five months, she serviced 70 submarines, refitting 17 and making voyage repairs to 53.
In mid-November, she joined USS Florikan (ASR-9) in a voyage back to Pearl Harbor, from the 12th to the 16th. She refitted eight submarines and accomplished voyage repairs on seven others between 15 November 1943 and 9 March 1944; then headed west once again.
Sperry's tour of duty at Majuro Atoll lasted from 15 March until 19 September. During her stay, the submarine tender accomplished 19 refits and two voyage repairs. In addition, her crew erected Camp Myrna, the first recuperation camp for submarine crews in the central Pacific area, on Myrna Island.
On 19 September, she exited the lagoon with USS Litchfield (DD-336) and headed for Pearl Harbor again. They reached Oahu on the 24th, but Sperry was underway again by 8 October as part of an 11-ship convoy. At Eniwetok, she parted company with the convoy; and, with USS Corbesier (DE-438), she continued on to the Marianas Islands. The two ships arrived at Guam on 20 October to begin a four-month tour of duty during which she serviced 20 boats, 14 for refit and six for voyage repairs. Again, her crew constructed a submarine recuperation facility, Camp Dealey.
On 13 February 1945, Sperry and USS Southard (DMS-10) left Guam to return to the United States. The two ships reached Pearl Harbor on 22 February. Southard remained at Pearl Harbor but Sperry continued eastward on 1 March. The submarine tender entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 7 March and commenced an overhaul which lasted until 30 April. By 10 May, Sperry was back at Pearl Harbor where she completed one refit and three voyage repairs before sailing on 30 June for the Marianas.
She was stationed at Guam from 11 July 1945 to 11 January 1946. During those six months, her stay in the Marianas was interrupted only once, in late November and early December, when she joined USS Blenny (SS-324), USS Blower (SS-325), USS Blueback (SS-326), USS Charr (SS-328), USS Redfish (SS-395), USS Sea Cat (SS-399), and USS Segundo (SS-398) in a training cruise. They visited Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands and Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands before returning to Apra Harbor 10 days before Christmas.
Eleven days into the new year, Sperry weighed anchor at Apra and headed for Long Beach, California. She arrived at Terminal Island on 20 February and began an extensive overhaul which was completed in July of 1947. Unlike many of her sister ships, Sperry remained an active unit of the fleet, operating out of San Diego, California. She earned the coveted battle efficiency ?E? three years in a row in 1948, 1949, and 1950. In 1949, she participated in Operation Miki, a war game which simulated the recapture of an enemy-occupied Oahu; and, while returning to San Diego, she operated in support of the first publicized firings of missiles from submarines. Between 1950 and 1953 she serviced and supplied many of the submarines recommissioned for the Korean war. In 1952 she made her only voyage to the western Pacific, sailing sailed via Pearl Harbor, where she stayed from 6 August until 21 September, and serving at Chi Chi Jima in the Benin Islands from 2 to 9 October. She returned to the west coast of the United States on 25 October.
In December of 1951, the battle lines in Korea were more or less stabilized along the 38th parallel, and hostilities slowly decreased over the next two years; Sperry gradually returned to her peacetime routine. Over the next 10 years she continued to operate out of San Diego, spending most of her time in port servicing the submarines of the fleet, but occasionally getting underway for training cruises along the west coast. Her area of operation extended from Mexico north to Canada.
From April to September 1961 Sperry was at Long Beach Naval Shipyard being brought up to date by a Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization overhaul. In mid-September, she returned to her duties as submarine tender at San Diego, though now with the capability to service ballistic missile submarines.
Sperry serviced submarines out of San Diego for another twenty years, until finally decommissioned there on 30 September 1982 and struck from the Navy list that same day. The old tender was transferred to the Maritime Administration on 1 February 1999, and remains available for possible use as a museum ship as of late 2005.
As of 2006 no other ship in the United States Navy has been named Sperry.