Surface Navy Remembers Medal of Honor Recipients Part 3
“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941— a date which will live in infamy,” is well-known from the speech given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Those assaults resulted in the United States entering World War II where many Americans courageously fought and died. Today we remember a few of those brave men whose fighting spirits live on in ships named after them.
In the U.S. Navy, specifically in the U.S. Surface Fleet, there are currently 19 commissioned warships named after Medal of Honor recipients and seven more on the way. Five of those Surface Force ships include: USS Bulkeley, USS Kidd, USS O’Kane, USS Ramage, and USS Ross.
USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) is named in honor of Navy Vice Admiral John Duncan Bulkeley. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during World War II. In 1942, while serving as a patrol torpedo boat pioneer, Bulkeley used his four-boat squadron to assist in evacuating Army General Douglas MacArthur, his family, and his immediate staff from the Philippines.
USS Kidd (DDG 100) is named in honor of Navy Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr. Admiral Kidd was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Kidd was killed in action during the attack while in command on the bridge of the USS Arizona.
USS O’Kane (DDG 77) is named in honor of Navy Rear Admiral Richard O’Kane, who commanded the submarine USS Tang during World War II. In five war patrols, O’Kane successfully led USS Tang in sinking a total of 33 enemy ships and rescuing American fliers who were shot down. O’Kane was awarded the Medal of Honor for his brave actions during his submarine’s final operations.
during World War II. On July 31, 1944, commanding USS Parche (SS 384), Ramage led a predawn attack on a Japanese convoy. He cleared the bridge of all personnel leaving himself to fight it out with the enemy. Over 46 minutes, Ramage and USS Parche sank two enemy ships and badly damaged three others.
USS Ross (DDG 71) is named in honor of Navy Captain Donald Kirby Ross who was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 18, 1942 for his selfless, courageous actions during the Japanese air raids on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On Dec. 7, 1941 while serving as a warrant officer machinist on USS Nevada (BB-36), he didn’t leave his post during the attacks despite becoming wounded and blinded by a bomb. Instead he remained at his station and kept the ship’s machinery running until the ship could be beached which prevented it from sinking and blocking the harbor.
Thanks to the valiant and unrelenting effort put forth by these service members, and countless others around the globe, the Allies of the world eventually won WWII, defeating the Axis forces of tyranny.