Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Eugene Bennett Fluckey

  • Rank: Commander (Highest Rank: Rear Admiral)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Barb (SS220)
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 19, 1944 - February 15, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Namkwan Harbor along coast of China, China

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 two-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 five fathoms of water, he launched the Barb's last forward torpedoes at 3,000-yard 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 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 four 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.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Neoga, Cumberland County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 23, 1945

    Washington, D.C., presented by the Sec. of the Navy James V. Forrestal

  • Born: October 5, 1913, Washington
  • Died: June 28, 2007, Annapolis, MD, United States
  • Buried: U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, MD, United States

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