According to the Department of Veteran Affairs we are losing our WWII veterans at a rate of over 1,000 a day. As with every generation that is tested by conflict the men and women of that generation have much to pass along to those who follow. Today in parades and ceremonies throughout this country these walking pages of history demonstrate a sense of honor, duty and commitment by remembering their follow shipmates and comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice made in defense of the ideas and principles embodied by their country, The United States Of America.
This Memorial Day may be one of the last in which the U.S Submarine Force has any surviving Congressional Metal of Honor recipients, the remaining hero being Rear Admiral Eugene Bennett Fluckey who is currently struggling with a prolonged illness. The following are the recipients of the Congressional Metal of Honor while serving in the U.S Submarine Service.
WWI – Congressional Metal of Honor recipient
Torpedoman Second Class Henry Breault
WWII - Congressional Metal of Honor recipients
Captain John Cromwell (awarded posthumously)
Commander Sam Dealey (awarded posthumously)
Commander Eugene Fluckey
Commander Howard Gilmore (awarded posthumously)
Commander Richard O'Kane
Commander Lawson P. Ramage
Commander George Street
The above recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor are representative of the submariner’s heroism and sacrifice. We can document the sacrifice in sheer numbers of boats and men lost, but by the nature of submarine operations we can only speculate on their heroism, much of which is lost in the great ocean depths.
If you wish to get a sense of the commitment the U.S Submarine Force has shown in it’s 100 plus year history I recommend visiting the “On Eternal Patrol” website and browse through the both peacetime and wartime listings of both Lost Boats and Crews.
Much is owed to this a small segment of the military and Navy who remain on eternal patrol.