Eugene Fluckey was one of the great naval heroes of World War II. His exploits as captain of the submarine USS Barb revolutionized undersea warfare and laid the groundwork for a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine fleet. He retired as a rear admiral and was awarded numerous presidential, congressional, and military honors, including the Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses. In the war against Japan, Fluckey fired the first ballistic missiles from a submarine, sank more tonnage than any other U.S. submarine skipper, including an aircraft carrier, a cruiser, a destroyer, and blew up a train after landing submariners-turned-saboteurs on mainland Japan in 1945. Here is the legendary submariner's story, told with the exclusive access to Fluckey's personal papers and based on interviews with him, his family, Barb shipmates, official Navy documents, and the recollections of his contemporaries.
Carl LaVO is the author of Slade Cutter and Back from the Deep. He has written many articles for Proceedings and Naval History, and a variety of general-interest periodicals. He has also appeared on the History Channel and lives in Bucks County, PA.