Eugene B. Fluckey Papers, 1902-2003 (bulk 1942-2003): Finding Aid
Published in October 2008
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 393
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Eugene B. Fluckey Papers
- Dates: 1902-2003
- Bulk Dates: 1942-2003
- Size: 5.3 linear feet (12 manuscript boxes, 1 flat box)
- Creator: Fluckey, Eugene B., 1913-2007
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: The Eugene B. Fluckey Papers 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.
Biographical Chronology of Eugene B. Fluckey
- Born October 5 in Washington, DC to Isaac Newton and Louella Snowden Fluckey.
- In September, enrolls in Washington DC's Columbian Preparatory School.
- 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.
- On June 6, graduates from the United States Naval Academy, ranked 107 out of 464 midshipmen.
- Is stationed aboard the battleship, U.S.S. Nevada.
- Is transferred to the destroyer, U.S.S. McCormick.
- Attends Submarine School, New London/Groton, Connecticut.
- Promoted to Lieutenant.
- In December, is assigned to submarine S42, operating out of Panama.
- On June 11, is transferred to U.S.S. Bonita as engineering and diving officer.
- Mid-summer, is designated for naval engineering instruction at the United States Naval Academy until November 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- In June, assumes command of U.S.S. Halfbeak.
- In May, is promoted to Assistant Reserve Coordinator.
- Is transferred to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT) James Fife as Flag Secretary.
- Establishes the Atlantic Submarine Naval Reserve.
- In October, is appointed U.S. Naval Attaché to Lisbon, Portugal, serving in that capacity until July 1953.
- c. July, assumes command of Submarine Division 52.
- 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.
- 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.
- In July, the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium fund drive reaches the 2.2 million dollars needed for construction.
- Attends National War College at Fort McNair.
- Begins one year assignment to National Security Council.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- In July, appointed to a two year tour as Director of Naval Intelligence.
- Assumes command of the Iberian Atlantic Command (IBERLANT).
- Named Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Portugal.
- On October 27, terrorists bomb the new Iberian Atlantic Command headquarters.
- In August, retires from active duty.
- Publishes Thunder Below, an account of the U.S.S. Barb's war patrols.
- On June 28, Eugene Bennett Fluckey dies in Annapolis, Maryland.
Description of Contents
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. Series 1: 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 four 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 Series 2: 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 the Commander, Submarine Group Seven files of Series 1: UNITED STATES NAVY FILES. Likewise, drafts of Fluckey's novel, Thunder Below, are located with the Barb related subject files. Series 3: 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. Series 4: 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.
The Eugene B. Fluckey Papers are organized into the following four series:
- Series 1: UNITED STATES NAVY FILES, 1942-1971
- Subseries 1a: Commander of U.S.S. Barb Files, 1944-1946
- Subseries 1b: Shore Station and Divisional Command Files, 1946-1966
- Subseries 1c: General Files, 1942-1966
- Subseries 1d: Personal File, 1962-1971
- Series 2: SPEECHES AND WRITINGS, 1959-1996
- Subseries 2a: Speeches 1961-1996
- Subseries 2b: Writings, 1959-1988
- Series 3: SUBJECT FILES, 1946-2003
- Subseries 3a: U.S.S. Barb, 1946-2003
- Subseries 3b: General, 1946-2003
- Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1902, 1944-2003
Access and Use
In December 2015, the majority of marked classified materials was declared declassified. Access to several additional documents is restricted pending further declassification review.
Copyright and Permission
The Eugene B. Fluckey Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of Margaret Fluckey in October 2007.
Related Archival Material
Additional material pertaining to Fluckey's career and time as a midshipman may be found in his Midshipman Personnel Jacket (sealed until 2034) and Alumni Jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
Two letters written by Fluckey, dating from 1993, are available at the Henry E. Eccles Library, Naval War College.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Eugene B. Fluckey Papers, MS 393
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
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)
LaVo, Carl. The Galloping Ghost: The Extraordinary Life of Submarine Legend Eugene Fluckey. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 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
Reynolds, Clark G. Famous American Admirals. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2002
Schudel, Matt. "Eugene Fluckey, Iconic Admiral Credited with Daring Sub Raids," The Boston Globe. (July 2, 2007)
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in October 2008. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in October 2008.
These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.
Name and Subject Terms
- Barb (Submarine : SS-220)
- Fluckey, Eugene B., 1913-2007
- Nimitz, Chester W. (Chester William), 1885-1966
- Submarines (Ships) -- United States -- World War 1939-1945
- United States. Navy -- Cruise, 1961
- United States. Navy -- Submarine Forces
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Speeches (documents)
Subseries 1a: Commander of U.S.S. Barb Files, 1944-1946 15 foldersSubseries Description
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 Series 3: 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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Subseries 1b: Shore Station and Divisional Command Files, 1946-1966 22 foldersSubseries Description
Documentation of Fluckey's various post-World War II divisional commands and tours of duty ashore. In part, the subseries document's Fluckey's tours as Personal Aide to Admiral Nimitz, Commander of Submarine Division 52, Naval Attache at Lisbon, Commander of Amphibious Group Four, President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, Commander of Submarine Force Pacific, and as Chief of Naval Intelligence.
Documents from Fluckey's tour as Commander, Amphibious Group Four focuses primarily of SoLant Amity II, a goodwill tour of the coast of Africa executed under Fluckey's command. The document includes reports, presentation materials in support of the final report, and briefing materials. The documents from this tour of duty also include an invitation to a change of command ceremony and a cruise book for the U.S.S. Pocono.
Documents from Fluckey's tour as Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific pertains 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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged chronologically by duty station, thereunder alphabetically by topic and document type.
Subseries 1c: General Files, 1942-1966 3 foldersSubseries Description
General documentation spanning Fluckey's career, including materials pertaining to Fluckey's appointments, fitness reports, and studies at the Naval Postgraduate School.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Subseries 1d: Personal File, 1962-1971 30 foldersSubseries Description
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).Subseries Arrangement
Arranged chronologically by date until June 1968. After June 1968, arranged chronologically by year, thereunder alphabetically by correspondent.
Subseries 2a: Speeches, 1961-1996 21 foldersSubseries Description
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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically, primarily by event.
Subseries 2b: Writings, 1959-1988 12 foldersSubseries Description
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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Series 3: SUBJECT FILES, 1946-2003 Boxes 5-10 and 13 [OS]Series Description
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.Series Arrangement
Organized into two sub-series by topical coverage.
Subseries 3a: U.S.S. Barb, 1946-2003 45 foldersSubseries Description
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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically, primarily by document type.
Subseries 3b: General, 1946-2003 64 foldersSubseries Description
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.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1902, 1944-2003 Boxes 10-12 and 13 [OS]Series Description
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.Series Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by topic.