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Weekend: The Glory of Their Deeds

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted May 29, 2011

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition — our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles.

Chester Nimitz and William “Bull” Halsey may be more familiar names, but the truth is neither one of them was as highly decorated as one Eugene B. Fluckey.

Before Japan surrendered, “Luckey Fluckey”, as he was known, received numerous medals including four Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the highest decoration of them all, the Medal of Honor.

As the commander of the U.S.S. Barb, Fluckey and his crew sank 29 vessels, including an aircraft carrier, while surviving an estimated 400 shells, bombs, and depth charges fired by the enemy.

Always innovative, he even conceived of a method for firing rockets from a submarine and was the first to do it in anger off the coast of Japan in 1945.

What’s more, his crew led the only invasion of the Japanese mainland, as eight of his saboteurs blew up a 16-car train under the cover of darkness.

But through it all, not one member of Fluckey’s crew ever received a Purple Heart.

As retired Capt. Max Duncan, a torpedo officer on the Barb, recalled, “He gave you a job, expected you to do it, and didn’t micromanage.”

Loved by his crew, Fluckey kept a secret stash of beer aboard the Barb, serving up cold ones every time an enemy ship went to the bottom. Once, in a life-threatening situation, he even calmed the nerves of the crew by telling them the beer was already on ice.

“The beer didn’t last too long,” Captain Duncan remembered, “because we sank too many ships.”

Sadly, like so many others of The Greatest Generation, time eventually caught up with Admiral Fluckey. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 93. But before he passed, he left us his thoughts.

Speaking before a new group of submariners, the admiral said:

Serve your country well. Put more into life than you expect to get out of it. Drive yourself and lead others. Make others feel good about themselves, they will outperform your expectations, and you will never lack for friends. On U.S.S Barb, our philosophy was, ‘We don’t have problems — just solutions.’

Of course, Fluckey really was one of the lucky ones. He walked through hell and survived, while so many others honored this Memorial Day made the ultimate sacrifice.

So as you ice down some cold beers of your own this weekend, remember the fate of the boys of Point du Hoc, the Ia Drang Valley, and so many other countless battlefields the world over.

To the living and the dead, we all owe a debt that can never be repaid. Without them, the world would be a much darker place — that much I’m sure of.

To everyone who ever served, I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

As for some insight of to some of the week’s best investment ideas, check out the week’s top-read Wealth Daily and Energy & Capital articles, below.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Your bargain-hunting analyst,

steve sig

Steve Christ
Editor, Wealth Daily

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