We are very fortunate to be installing the Medal of Honor awarded to Commander Samuel D. Dealey, USN. His medal is an exciting addition to our Medal of Honor exhibit here at the Submarine Force Library and Museum.
The Navy and Marine Corps’ Medal of Honor is our country’s oldest and continuously awarded decoration, with the first being awarded in 1861. Although it began as an award for enlisted men, it was expanded to include officers in 1915. The award is given “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty.”
Commander Dealey was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 15 November 1945. The Medal was presented by President Truman, to Dealey’s widow, on the Whitehouse lawn with the following citation:
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Harder during her Fifth War Patrol in Japanese controlled waters. Floodlighted by a bright moon and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort which bore down with intent to attack, Commander Dealey quickly dived to periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened fire, sending the target all aboard down in flames with his third torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again surfaced and, within nine minutes after sighting another destroyer, had sent the enemy down tail first with a hit directly amidship. Evading detection, he penetrated the confined waters off Tawi Tawi with the Japanese Fleet base 6 miles away and scored death blows on two patrolling destroyers in quick succession. With his ship heeled over by concussion from the first exploding target and the second vessel nose-diving in a blinding detonation, he cleared the area at high speed. Sighted by a large hostile Fleet force on the following day, he swung his bow toward the lead destroyer for another “down-the-throat” shot, fired three bow tubes and promptly crash-dived to be terrifically rocked seconds later by the exploding ship as the Harder passed beneath. This remarkable record of five vital Japanese destroyers sunk in five short-range torpedo attacks attests the valiant fighting spirit of Commander Dealey and his indomitable command.”
Please see our other article for more information on CDR Dealey.