With flaming red hair, a Dale Carnegie smile, and boundless enthusiasm, retired Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey was the most decorated military veteran for the past 50 years.
The former submarine commander, who passed away in June at age 93, was well known for his oft-stated philosophy: "We don't have problems, just solutions."
In World War II, he snatched victory out of the slightest of opportunities.
As skipper of the USS Barb (SS-220), Fluckey's hit-and-run tactics kept the enemy off guard and revolutionized undersea warfare. He was the first to launch what he called "ballistic missiles" from the deck of his boat to set factories afire on the coast of Japan. He landed saboteurs ashore to blow up a 16-car train. And he sought out a secret Japanese port on mainland China where he attacked a 30-ship convoy at anchor, damaging or sinking seven vessels before outrunning the shells of a pursuing destroyer on an hour-long dash through shallow and uncharted seas to reach water deep enough to dive.