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Eugene Fluckey was born in Washington, DC in 1913, graduating from the United States Naval Academy with the Class of 1935. He attended Submarine School in 1938.
When World War II started, Fluckey was serving in U.S.S. Bonita, and would make five war patrols with her. In April 1944, he assumed command of U.S.S. Barb. It was Barb‘s eighth war patrol, and Fluckey’s first as her commanding officer, and he immediately established a pattern of success, sinking five Japanese ships, and being credited with 37,500 tons. (JANAC later reduced the tonnage to 15,472 tons, though the number of ships sunk remained the same.)
In one of the stranger incidents in the war, Fluckey once sent a landing party ashore to set demolition charges on a coastal railway line. The result was the destruction of a sixteen car train. He also frequently operated in coastal waters, often inflicting severe damage on Japanese coastal installations. His wartime service earned him four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor.
In 1945, Fluckey returned to Groton, CT for new construction, but with the war close to an end, he was transferred to the Pentagon, where he worked under Forrestal during the genesis of the modern Department of Defense. When Admiral Nimitz took over as Chief of Naval Operations in December 1945, Fluckey became his personal aide.
Fluckey would later serve as commanding officer of Submarine Division 52, and captain of U.S.S.Sperry. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1960, becoming Commander, Amphibious Group 4 and, later, Commander, Submarines, Pacific. He would also serve at the Naval Academy, and as U.S. Naval Attaché to Portugal.
Fluckey retired in 1972. He passed away on 28 June 2007 in Annapolis, MD.
Recommended Reading:U.S.S. Barb (SS-220): American Submarine War Patrol Reports