Guide to the Eugene B. Fluckey Papers, 1944-2003
A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029
Prepared by: David D'Onofrio
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
|1913||Born October 5 in Washington, DC to Isaac Newton and Louella Snowden Fluckey.|
|1930||In September, enrolls in Washington DC's Columbian Preparatory School.|
|1931||In February, achieves top scores on the United States Naval Academy entrance exams.|
|In June, arrives at the United States Naval Academy for plebe summer.|
|1935||On June 6, graduates from the United States Naval Academy, ranked 107 out of 464 midshipmen.|
|1936||Is stationed aboard the battleship, U.S.S. Nevada.|
|Is transferred to the destroyer, U.S.S. McCormick.|
|1938||Attends Submarine School, New London/Groton, Connecticut.|
|Promoted to Lieutenant.|
|In December, is assigned to submarine S42, operating out of Panama.|
|1941||On June 11, is transferred to U.S.S. Bonita as engineering and diving officer.|
|1942||Mid-summer, is designated for naval engineering instruction at the United States Naval Academy until November 1943.|
|1943||Promoted to Lieutenant Commander.|
|Sent to Prospective Commanding Officers' School.|
|c. November, is posted to U.S.S. Barb as Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO).|
|1944||In March, is promoted to Commander.|
|On April 28, assumes command of U.S.S. Barb.|
|On September 17, Barb rescues fourteen Australian and British Prisoners of War following the sinking of a prisoner transport ship.|
|In September, Barb sinks the Japanese aircraft carrier Unyo.|
|1945||On March 23, is awarded the Medal of Honor.|
|On April 10, is awarded a Gold Star in lieu of an additional Navy Cross.|
|On June 22, Barb launches a rocket attack on the Japanese port of Shari.|
|On July 23, eight commandos dispatched from Barb destroy a Japanese troop train on the island of Sakhalin.|
|In August, is named prospective Commanding Officer of U.S.S. Dogfish.|
|In October, is awarded a Gold Star in lieu of an additional Navy Cross.|
|In November, is briefly assigned to the War Plans Division of the office of the Secretary of the Navy.|
|In November, becomes personal aide to the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.|
|1947||In June, assumes command of U.S.S. Halfbeak.|
|1948||In May, is promoted to Assistant Reserve Coordinator.|
|1949||Is transferred to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT) James Fife as Flag Secretary.|
|1950||Establishes the Atlantic Submarine Naval Reserve.|
|In October, is appointed U.S. Naval Attaché to Lisbon, Portugal, serving in that capacity until July 1953.|
|1953||c. July, assumes command of Submarine Division 52.|
|1955||In March, assumes command of U.S.S. Sperry.|
|c. August, assumes command of Submarine Squadron Five.|
|In October, assumes command of Submarine Group Seven, serving in that capacity until January 14, 1956.|
|1956||Appointed chair of the Electrical Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy. While at the Academy, also heads the fund drive for the construction of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.|
|1958||In July, the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium fund drive reaches the 2.2 million dollars needed for construction.|
|1959||Attends National War College at Fort McNair.|
|Begins one year assignment to National Security Council.|
|1960||In July, is promoted to Rear Admiral.|
|Assumes command of Amphibious Group Four. Flagships for Amphibious Group Four included U.S.S. Pocono and U.S.S. Mount McKinley.|
|1961||In April, commanding Task Force Eighty-Eight from U.S.S. Spiegel Grove, embarks on SoLant Amity II, a goodwill cruise along the African coast.|
|In November, begins serving as President of the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey.|
|1964||c. March, begins serving a three month special assignment for the Secretary of the Navy.|
|In June, is promoted to Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC).|
|1966||In July, appointed to a two year tour as Director of Naval Intelligence.|
|1968||Assumes command of the Iberian Atlantic Command (IBERLANT).|
|Named Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Portugal.|
|1971||On October 27, terrorists bomb the new Iberian Atlantic Command headquarters.|
|1972||In August, retires from active duty.|
|1992||Publishes Thunder Below, an account of the U.S.S. Barb's war patrols.|
|2007||On June 28, Eugene Bennett Fluckey dies in Annapolis, Maryland.|
Ewing, Philip. "Highly Decorated WWII Ex-Admiral Dies at 93," Navy Times. (July 2, 2007)
Goldstein, Richard, "Eugene B. Fluckey, Daring Submarine Skipper, Dies at 93," The New York Times. (July 1, 2007)
"Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey," Online Library of Selected Images. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, retrieved October 15, 2008 http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/pers-us/uspers-f/e-flucky.htm
Schudel, Matt. "Eugene Fluckey, Iconic Admiral Credited with Daring Sub Raids," The Boston Globe. (July 2, 2007)
Scope and Content Note
The Eugene B. Fluckey Papers, comprising 5.3 linear feet of documents, span fifty-nine years of Fluckey's life, from his service in the United States Navy during World War II through his return to civilian life after retirement. In various levels of detail, the papers describe many of Fluckey's duties throughout his naval career, including his war patrols aboard U.S.S. Barb, commands of submarine and amphibious groups, the SoLant Amity II goodwill cruise, and his work in torpedo countermeasures, as well as his post graduate studies, and duties as personal aide to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The papers also offer insight into the personal opinions, interests, and affiliations of Fluckey, both during his career and after.
The collection is composed of various document types, including personal and official correspondence in the form of letters, memoranda, and telegrams, as well as speeches, essays, journal articles, news clippings, newsletters, reports, commendations and citations, muster rolls, books, and photographs.
The Fluckey Papers are organized into four series by document type and subject scope. UNITED STATES NAVY FILES consists of documents, both personal and official, produced or retained in Fluckey's capacity as an officer in the United States Navy. Organized into twelve sub-series primarily by duty station of origin, the files contain correspondence, reports, and briefing materials. Speeches delivered by Fluckey, as well as newspaper editorials, essays, and reminiscences written by Fluckey are located in SPEECHES AND WRITINGS. Writings more closely associated with specific official projects are housed with their supporting documentation, such as an essay on Operation Flyaway, found in UNITED STATES NAVY FILES/Commander, Submarine Group Seven. Likewise, drafts of Fluckey's novel, Thunder Below, are located with the Barb related subject files. SUBJECT FILES, representing nearly half of the collection, deals with many of Fluckey's post-retirement interests. The U.S.S. Barb sub-series pertains largely to the reunion activities of the Barb's crew, and to research regarding the submarine's war record, which was possibly used in the preparation of Fluckey's novel, Thunder Below. The general subject files, comprising various document types, touch upon many of Fluckey's activities and interests, including files on several of Fluckey's commands, various United States Navy flag officers and ships, membership information for various organizations, and several awards. The general files also include basic biographical material on Fluckey. PHOTOGRAPHS consists of portraits of Fluckey, as well as images of various career related and post-retirement events, including award ceremonies, dinners and banquets, and action shots from the U.S.S. Barb.
Research interests served by the Fluckey Papers, in addition to biographical inquiries, include the study of U.S.S. Barb's war record and crew's history, United States' goodwill efforts, submarine rescue operations, torpedo countermeasures, and the career and interpersonal relationships of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
Organized into twelve sub-series; five by station or command, and two by document type.
Documents pertaining to or created by Fluckey's various duties in the United States Navy.
Student, United States Naval Academy Post Graduate School: A single file containing transcripts from Fluckey's postgraduate studies.
Commander of U.S.S. Barb: Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Contemporary documentation pertaining to Fluckey's service as commanding officer of U.S.S. Barb. Specifically, the material pertains to the submarine's crew, awards bestowed upon the crew and Fluckey individually, and details of specific patrols. Included in the sub-series are incoming letters, telegrams, memoranda, citations, press releases, and muster rolls.
Among the correspondence in the sub-series is a thank-you letter from Australian prisoner of war Jack Flynn, who was saved by the U.S.S. Barb on September 17, 1944 following the sinking of the POW transport ship Ryoku Maru. Additional material on the Ryoku Maru survivors can be found in SUBJECT FILES/U.S.S. Barb.
Also among the materials are commendations received by Fluckey and his crew, including the citation for Fluckey's Medal of Honor. Additional material on the Medal of Honor can be found in SUBJECT FILES/General.
Personal Aide to Admiral Nimitz: Arranged chronologically.
Speeches delivered by then Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to various civic, military, and academic groups, including award ceremonies and memorial dedications.
Commander, Submarine Division 52: A single file pertaining to attempts to establish a torpedo countermeasure project. Included in the sub-series are memoranda and research materials.
Commander, Submarine Group Seven: A single report of Fluckey's tour of duty, including discussions of command relationships, general operations, logistics, and a submarine rescue program known as Operation Fly-Away.
Commander, Amphibious Group Four: Arranged alphabetically.
Documentation, primarily of SoLant Amity II, a goodwill tour of the coast of Africa executed under Fluckey's command. Included in the sub-series are reports, presentation materials in support of the final report, briefing materials, an invitation, and a cruise book.
Also included in the sub-series is an invitation to a change of command ceremony and a cruise book for the U.S.S. Pocono.
President, Board of Inspection and Survey: A single file consisting of a memorandum to Fluckey concerning an investigation into the shipboard use of polyester fiber pillows.
Chief of Naval Intelligence: A single file consisting of a certificate for the Department of Defense Computer Institute and a photograph of the institute's attendees.
Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific: Arranged alphabetically.
Documentation pertaining to the development of a deep sea rescue system for crippled or sunk submarines, known as a fly away kit. Included in the sub-series are memoranda, reference material, a published report, and an essay authored by Fluckey. Images of the fly away kit can be found in PHOTOGRAPHS.
Fitness Report File: A single file of memoranda pertaining to Fluckey's fitness reports while Rear Admiral.
Appointments: A single appointment certificate for Fluckey's promotion to Captain.
Personal File: Arranged chronologically by date until June 1968. After June 1968, arranged chronologically by year, thereunder alphabetically by correspondent.
Incoming and outgoing letters kept by Fluckey in his various capacities while holding the rank of Rear Admiral. The letters, primarily of a personal nature, consist mainly of thank-you letters, congratulations, commendations, and invitations. Topics represented by more than one letter include the Navy League of the United States, Naval Academy squash tournaments, and the Medal of Honor Society, as well as various business dealings. Included in the sub-series, in addition to letters, are memoranda, postcards, and newsletters.
Among the correspondence in the sub-series are letters pertaining to prisoner of war legislation (McKeever, March 1971), a letter to the outgoing Chief of Military Assistance Advisory Group, Portugal assessing the status of the command (April 15, 1968), and a thank-you letter from a Naval Academy Midshipman thanking Fluckey for convincing him not to drop out (September 21, 1967).
Notable correspondents include Admiral Charles Lockwood (August 21, 1964), Mrs. Chester W. Nimitz (May 5, 1967), NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Admiral E.P. Holmes (May 22, 1968), Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. (May 18, 1968), Senator Edward M. Kennedy (February 7, 1969), President Richard M. Nixon (January 25, 1969), and Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. (May 2, 1970).
Organized into two sub-series by document type.
Speeches, essays and editorials written or delivered by Fluckey in both official and private capacities.
Speeches: Arranged alphabetically, primarily by event.
Speeches delivered by Fluckey at various events such as graduations, funerals, civic group meetings, and dedications, including the dedication of two buildings named for Fluckey. Included in the sub-series are handwritten and typescript speeches, handwritten notes, and event programs.
Writings: Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Writings, primarily essays and editorials, written by Fluckey during his naval career and subsequent retirement. The writings pertain to Fluckey's personal experiences and opinions on several subjects, such as the stock market, street lighting, and the Iran-Contra Affair.
Among the personal reminiscences is one of an incident in 1946 in which Fluckey attempted to hide Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in a men's room from a throng of female admirers.
Also included in the sub-series is a 1959 research paper written by Fluckey entitled "Our Ramparts We Do Not Watch," addressing nuclear strategy.
Organized into two sub-series by topical coverage.
Varied documentation pertaining to Fluckey's career, interests and activities. A majority of the files appear to have been assembled following Fluckey's retirement from the United States Navy.
U.S.S. Barb: Arranged alphabetically, primarily by document type.
Materials collected by Fluckey relating to the World War II record of the U.S.S. Barb and the subsequent lives of its crew. The materials pertain to the Barb's war record, including total tonnage and identity of ships destroyed, alumni association activities, Barb's sale to Italy and subsequent renaming as Enrico Tazzoli, the survivors of the POW transport Ryoku Maru, and Fluckey's book, Thunder Below. Included in the subseries are alumni newsletters and muster lists, news and magazine clippings, book excerpts, incoming and outgoing letters, a student paper, a television script, and a partial book manuscript.
Among the items in this sub-series are manuscript copies of Fluckey's book Thunder Below (partial), as well as research files on Japanese naval and shipping vessels, most likely used by Fluckey in writing Thunder Below. Included in the research files are two folders containing correspondence and enclosed material from Captain Shin Itonaga of the National Institute for Defense Studies in Japan.
Also included in the sub-series is a script by Captain Edward L. Beach pertaining to the U.S.S. Barb and its ultimate sale to Italy, written for the television show Navy Log.
General: Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Documentation on various topics, assembled by Fluckey both during his career and in retirement from the United States Navy. The files pertain to organizations in which Fluckey was a member or supporter, United States Navy personnel (especially admirals, such as Arleigh Burke and Charles Lockwood), United States Navy Ships, submarine activities during World War II (other than those of U.S.S. Barb), Fluckey's Medal of Honor, two buildings dedicated in Fluckey's honor, and other biographical material on Fluckey. Included in the sub-series are incoming and outgoing letters, news clippings, publications, press releases, invitations, and certificates.
Included in the sub-series is a set of set of uncut transparencies for a Submarine Attack Course Finder (Is-Was) from a GUPPY II submarine.
Also included in the sub-series are several files of personal correspondence, arranged by correspondent. Among these personal correspondents are Fluckey's first wife Marjorie, former Barb crew member Everett P. "Tuck" Weaver, and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
Arranged alphabetically by topic.
Prints and negatives, mostly black-and-white depicting various events and people from Fluckey's career in the United States Navy and subsequent retirement. The depictions include award ceremonies, change of command ceremonies, dinners and banquets, fleet activities (such as SoLant Amity II), events attended by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, crew activities and engagements of U.S.S. Barb, various other United States Navy submarines, and portraits of Fluckey and other key military personnel.
Portraits of other military personnel, many of which are autographed, include those of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Admiral Horacio Rivero, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Also included in the series are images of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Admiral William F. Halsey, and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal.