Special from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Every man and woman serving our Navy today joins me in mourning the death of retired Rear Adm. Eugene Fluckey, recipient of the Medal of Honor and a true naval hero. We extend humbly to his family our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies in this, their time of great grief and sorrow.
Fluckey passed away on June 29. He was one of the most daring and successful submarine skippers of World War II -- he was credited with sinking 29.3 enemy ships totaling more than 146,00 tons -- Eugene Fluckey helped lead and inspire our Navy to victory. He inspires us still today. We will miss him sorely.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, they pinned upon his chest four Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and a host of other unit and campaign awards. He was known for his audacity and courage, on more than one occasion running his boat in close to shore to attack enemy shipping and bases.
He even helped pioneer the idea of submarine support to special operations. In the summer of 1945, he launched a group of his own commandos ashore to set demolition charges on a coastal railway line, destroying a 16-car train. It was the sole landing by U.S. military forces on the Japanese Home Islands during the war.
Fluckey was also a loyal and devoted leader, for whom his people had the greatest respect and in whom they entrusted their lives and their honor. He knew all too well how much they depended on his steady hand, and how much he, in turn, depended on them.
In his final war patrol report as commanding officer of USS Barb, he had this to say about his crew:
We ought never forget his own words of wisdom: