Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Samuel David Dealey

  • Rank: Commander
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Harder
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 26 - July 3, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: off Tawi Tawi, Sulu Archipelago, Philippine Islands

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. Harder during her 5th war patrol in Japanese-controlled waters. Floodlighted by a bright moon and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort which bore down with intent to attack. Comdr. Dealey quickly dived to periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened fire, sending the target and all aboard down in flames with his third torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again surfaced and, within nine minutes after sighting another destroyer, had sent the enemy down tail first with a hit directly amidship. Evading detection, he penetrated the confined waters off Tawi Tawi with the Japanese Fleet base six miles away and scored death blows on two patrolling destroyers in quick succession. With his ship heeled over by concussion from the first exploding target and the second vessel nose-diving in a blinding detonation, he cleared the area at high speed. Sighted by a large hostile fleet force on the following day, he swung his bow toward the lead destroyer for another "down-the-throat" shot, fired three bow tubes, and promptly crash-dived to be terrifically rocked seconds later by the exploding ship as the Harder passed beneath. This remarkable record of five vital Japanese destroyers sunk in five short-range torpedo attacks attests the valiant fighting spirit of Comdr. Dealey and his indomitable command.

Medal of Honor Recipient Samuel D. Dealey
Medal of Honor Recipient Samuel D. Dealey
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 15, 1945

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman to his Widow

  • Born: September 13, 1906, Dallas, Collin County, TX, United States
  • Died: August 24, 1944, At Sea
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Manila Cemetery (Wall of the Missing), Manila, Philippine Islands

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