08 October 2006

Medal of Honor: S. D. Dealey


Commander, US Navy, commanding USS Harder (SS 257)

Born: 13 September 1906, Dallas, Texas
Died: 24 August 1944, off Luzon, Philippine Islands

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 5th War Patrol in Japanese-controlled waters. Floodlighted by a bright moon [on 6 June 1944] and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort which bore down with intent to attack, Comdr. Dealey quickly dived to periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened fire, sending the target and all aboard down in flames with his third torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again surfaced and, within 9 minutes after sighting another destroyer [on 7 June], 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 [on 9 June] scored death blows on 2 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 3 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 5 vital Japanese destroyers sunk in 5 short-range torpedo attacks attests the valiant fighting spirit of Comdr. Dealey and his indomitable command.

Notes: USS Dealey (DE 1006) was named in his honour.
The Japanese destroyers sunk by Dealey were Minatsuki (6 Jun), Hayanami (7 Jun) and Tanikaze (9 Jun). Japanese records examined after the war showed that there was actually not a second destroyer present on 9 Jun, and that the ship attacked on 10 Jun survived.

1 comment:

Mega Munch said...

You think old Sam Dealy said when he was leading his crew into harm's way to sink those Japanese ships, "Some day men, they'll be reading about this in the blogosphere!"

I'll bet he did. He was a smart guy.