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Medal of Honor

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Rontini599 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 9:48am

DEALEY, SAMUEL DAVID (1906–1944). Samuel David Dealey, Medal of Honor recipient, was born on September 13, 1906, to Samuel and Virgie Dealey in Dallas, Texas. He was a nephew of George B. Dealey and a cousin of Edward M. Dealey.qqv His father died in 1912, and his mother moved to Santa Monica, California, where Sam, Jr., began school. He returned to Dallas and graduated from Oak Cliff (now W. H. Adamson) High School. He then studied for two years at Southern Methodist University before entering the United States Naval Academy in the spring of 1925. He failed to maintain adequate grades that year but reentered in 1926 and graduated in the middle of the class of 1930. He subsequently married Edwina Vawter of Santa Monica. They had three children.

After serving on various battleships, destroyers, and submarines, in December 1942 Lieutenant Commander Dealey became the first and only commander of the newly commissioned submarine USS Harder. He took the ship in 1943 to the Pacific and made five highly successful patrols, but failed to return from a sixth. He was particularly noted for heading toward enemy destroyers and discharging the sub's forward tubes before making the standard maneuver of diving into silent running; this effective but dangerous maneuver, which Dealey used by permission from the commander of the Pacific Fleet, sank five Japanese destroyers in four days. Dealey officially sank sixteen enemy vessels in all. He was Group Commander of a Submarine Wolf Pack consisting of the Harder, the Hake, and the Hado in waters off Luzon, Philippine. On August 24, 1944, the Harder was heavily and fatally depth-charged. Commander Dealey was declared missing in action and presumed dead on October 2, 1944.

During his command of the Harder in 1943 and 1944 he earned the Navy Cross with three gold stars, the army's Distinguished Service Cross (presented to him by Gen. Douglas MacArthur), two presidential unit citations, and a Purple Heart. He was commended for "sinking over 15,000 tons and damaging over 27,000 tons of enemy shipping," for "extraordinary heroism...in the presence of formidable concentrations of anti-submarine vessels," for rescuing an Allied pilot "from a rubber raft off a Japanese-held island despite harassing fire," and for many other acts of valor. The Medal of Honor was presented to Dealey's widow on August 28, 1945, for acts that attested "the valiant fighting spirit of Commander Dealey and his indomitable command." For the Harder's sixth war patrol, Commander Dealey was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

The United States Navy named a destroyer escort in his honor. In 1994 a neglected plaque in his honor was moved from Seawolf Park in Galveston to the Science Place in Fair Park, Dallas, and dedicated in a ceremony.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 10:11am
Originally posted by Rontini599 Rontini599 wrote:

...The United States Navy named a destroyer escort in his honor. In 1994 a neglected plaque in his honor was moved from Seawolf Park in Galveston to the Science Place in Fair Park, Dallas, and dedicated in a ceremony.


Not to Mention Dealy Center at Sub School in Groton.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Runner485 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 12:02pm
A well decorated, and well deserved, aggressive CO.

I wonder though if his crew got an honorable mention? I'm sure they did, right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 2:26pm
Radioman Calvin Bull received Bronze Star for the five DD Sinkings on the Fifth Patrol.  I do not know/remember what other awards were made.   CDR Dealey's   Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously as he and Harder and his crew were lost on the following patrol.

In those days there was an almost rigidly adhered to set of awards made based on success of the patrol.  That fifth Patrol was possibly the most successful of the war -  without going back to check, I would bet there were likely 3 or so additional medals


Edited by SaltiDawg - 28 Aug 2018 at 6:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 610ET Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2018 at 3:40pm
Originally posted by Runner485 Runner485 wrote:

A well decorated, and well deserved, aggressive CO.

I wonder though if his crew got an honorable mention? I'm sure they did, right?


It looks like they did.

The boat received two PUC's.

My dad's WWII CO on Tirante, CDR. George Street, received the MOH and the boat the PUC. For the rest of his life at the reunions he always said that the crew was awarded the MOH. He just wore it for them.

I was fortunate to meet him once. A true gentleman.


Edited by 610ET - 31 Aug 2018 at 3:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2018 at 7:41pm
Originally posted by Runner485 Runner485 wrote:

A well decorated, and well deserved, aggressive CO.

I wonder though if his crew got an honorable mention? I'm sure they did, right?


At the completion of the prior War Patrol:

"With all hands on deck, standing straight-faced but glowing with pride, the crew saw their Skipper receive the second Gold Star in lieu of his third Navy Cross. This time Sam did not mind the presentation as much as he did on the previous occasion. Through channels he had learned that the awards he had recommended for officers and men under his command had been awarded, including four Legion of Merit awards, five Silver Star Medals, and eleven Bronze Star Medals. If there was one thing Sam hated with all his might—it was a ribbon hunter. He disliked intensely to stand alone to receive decorations in the company of men whom, he felt, had also earned awards."

The above I pasted from my Kindle copy of Lockwood's "Through Hell and High Water".  I have read every book I can find about US Submarine Operations in The Pacific in WWII.  Sam Dealey, John Cromwell, and Howard Gilmore as well as Charles Lockwood are men that have my total respect now and for the future - as do the men that served with them!


Edited by SaltiDawg - 31 Aug 2018 at 8:14pm
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