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Bulkeley, John Duncan

Date of birth:
August 19th, 1911 (New York City/New York, United States)
Date of death:
April 6th, 1996 (Silver Spring/Maryland, United States)
Buried on:
Arlington National Cemetery
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Commander
Unit:
Motor Torpedo Boat Thirty-Four (PT-34), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTB-3), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1942
"For extraordinary heroism, distinguished service, and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer, Motor Torpedo Boat Thirty-Four (PT-34), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTB-3), in Philippine waters during the period 7 December 1941 to 10 April 1942. The remarkable achievement of Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley's command in damaging or destroying a notable number of Japanese enemy planes, surface combatant and merchant ships, and in dispersing landing parties and land-based enemy forces during the four months and eight days of operation without benefit of repairs, overhaul, or maintenance facilities for his squadron, is believed to be without precedent in this type of warfare. His dynamic forcefulness and daring in offensive action, his brilliantly planned and skillfully executed attacks, supplemented by a unique resourcefulness and ingenuity, characterize him as an outstanding leader of men and a gallant and intrepid seaman. These qualities coupled with a complete disregard for his own personal safety reflect great credit upon him and the Naval Service."
Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Commanding Officer of Motor Torpedo Boat Thirty-Four (PT-34), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTB-3), in connection with military operations against the Japanese enemy forces in the Philippine Area on 18 and 19 January 1942. Despite enemy machine gun fire and three inch shore battery fire, Lieutenant Bulkeley searched Binanga Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands, for an enemy ship reported therein, located and sank the unidentified 5,000-ton enemy ship with torpedoes without serious damage to his ship or casualty to his crew. The exceptional bravery, aggressive leadership, and outstanding devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Bulkeley were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Commanding Officer of Motor Torpedo Boat Thirty-Four (PT-34), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTB-3), during the period 11 to 13 March 1942, in the Philippine Islands during a extraordinary action a retrograde maneuver involving General Douglas MacArthur. Lieutenant Bulkeley made detailed plans involving exacting preparations for a movement of major strategic importance and of the most hazardous nature, then executed the mission with marked skill and coolness in the face of greatly superior enemy forces. The conduct of Lieutenant Bulkeley throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Forces of the United States."
Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Order No. 43 (March 15, 1942) - Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 306 (September 1942).
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant
Unit:
Motor Torpedo Squadron Three (MTB-3), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1942
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, Motor Torpedo Squadron Three (MTB-3), in the vicinity of Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 18 January 1942 and 25 January 1942. When a hostile vessel was reported in Binanga Bay, Luzon, on 18 January, Lieutenant Bulkeley proceeded with a squadron of two motor torpedo boats to search it out and attack it. When one of the two patrol boats became disabled, Lieutenant Bulkeley continued on his mission without the other. In spite of challenges by several enemy shore observation posts and by a hostile patrolling vessel and fire from an enemy shore battery, Lieutenant Bulkeley entered Port Binanga, located the hostile vessel and attacked it with two torpedoes, one of which struck it and set it afire. Again, on the night of 24 January, he successfully attacked an enemy merchant vessel off Sampaloc Point, Luzon. After firing the first torpedo which struck the target amidships and exploded, the torpedo boat came under heavy fire from the hostile ship and from shore batteries. In spite of this fire, Lieutenant Bulkeley continued his attack to within five hundred yards, firing another torpedo and attacking with machine gun fire, seriously hampered hostile operations on the west coast of Bataan. The conduct of Lieutenant Bulkeley throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Forces of the United States."
Headquarters, U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 29.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant
Unit:
Motor Torpedo Squadron Three (MTB-3), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1942
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, Motor Torpedo Boat Thirty Four (PT-34), Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three (MTB-3), in action in the Mindanao Sea, Philippine Islands, on the night of 8 - 9 April 1942. When Lieutenant Bulkeley, in command of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three encountered a hostile cruiser accompanied by destroyers, he unhesitatingly ordered an attack by the two boats in his squadron in spite of the tremendous odds. After the vessel on which he was embarked had fired all its torpedoes in an attack against the enemy cruiser, Lieutenant Bulkeley, at great personal risk, directed the aggressive maneuver of this vessel so as to draw to it the bulk of the hostile fire, enabling the other boat to deliver a torpedo attack at close range. As a result of this daring, combined maneuver, the enemy cruiser was destroyed. After this action, Lieutenant Bulkeley skillfully withdrew his command, evading the pursuing hostile destroyers. The conduct of Lieutenant Bulkeley throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Forces of the United States."
Second DSC received as a bronze Oakleaf Cluster to be worn on the ribbon of the first DSC.
Headquarters, South West Pacific Area, General Orders No. 3
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Endicott (DD-495), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1944
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Endicott (DD-495), during the amphibious invasion of Southern France, on 16 - 17 August 1944. Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley, exercising fearless determination, first brought his ship within easy range of enemy coastal batteries in the Bai de la Ciotat area and effectively bombarded short targets in support of a special assault mission. After withdrawal of this group on the morning of 17 August, he went to the assistance of several units which were engaging enemy vessels of superior strength. Despite intermittent main battery gun failures incidental to prior bombardment, he pressed his attack with great skill and courage in delivering accurate and vigorous gunfire against the enemy and exerted unrelenting pressure during the running action which ensued until both ships were sunk by the combined efforts of our forces. The aggressive leadership, cool and intrepid action, and outstanding devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Second Silver Star awarded as Bronze Leaf Cluster to be worn on the ribbon of the first SS.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Commander
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States in command of motor torpedo boat squadrons which participated in the operations in the Bay of Seine, France, from 6 June to 14 July 1944, during the invasion of Normandy. The motor boats under Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley's command were employed as part of the Western Naval Task Force Area Screen and as advance anti-E-boat patrol groups. They were also employed to sink floating flares dropped by German planes to guide their bombers to the anchorage areas. These tasks were performed with great effectiveness and contributed largely to the safety of the large number of vessels inside the area screen. This outstanding performance of duty reflects great credit upon Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley and upon the United States Naval Service. (Lieutenant Commander Bulkeley is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)"
Legion of Merit - US Military
Gold Star in lieu
Legion of Merit - US Military
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as President, Board of Inspection and Survey, from June 1967 to January 1972. During a period of wartime operations and an intensely active shipbuilding and conversion program, Rear Admiral Bulkeley brought the standards of ship inspections, and the repairing thereof, to an outstandingly high level and contributed most significantly toward enhancing the quality of new ships and maintaining a high state of material readiness in ships in service. His personal stamp of enthusiasm, dedication and realism, along with his intense personal involvement, is manifested in all aspects of the work of the Board of Inspection and Survey. Rear Admiral Bulkeley's superb performance of duty in a vitally important assignment has been a strong contributing factor in the improved readiness of the Navy's forces afloat, and thereby of the Navy at large. His inspiring and dedicated efforts reflected great credit upon himself and the Board of Inspection and Survey, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as President, Board of Inspection and Survey, Washington, D.C. from June 1967 to September 1988. Vice Admiral Bulkeley's operational experience, courage and initiative brought honors to the Navy and victories to his Nation. Magnificently combining his exceptional depth and breadth of operational experience, he performed the greatest service as the President, Board of Inspection and Survey for the past twenty-one years. With an unequaled appreciation for the challenges faced by sailors serving in our men of war, he devoted his life to ensuring that they are supported by the best, safest, and most survivable ships. Vice Admiral Bulkeley's selfless efforts guaranteed the Navy's capacity to conduct prompt sustained combat operations at sea and significantly upgraded warfighting readiness. By his distinctive performance, meticulous attention to detail and inspiring devotion to duty, Vice Admiral Bulkeley reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Gold Star in lieu
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as President, Board of Inspection and Survey, Department of the Navy, from January 1972 through September 1980. During this period, Rear Admiral Bulkeley was responsible for conduct of New Construction trials and Material Inspections, to which he contributed significantly in the planning, coordination, direction, and initiation of plans and reports. His tireless efforts and strong professional drive to focus attention on these areas were instrumental in the successful implementation of numerous policies and programs. Rear Admiral Bulkeley was an outstanding source of guidance and an inspirational leader to the personnel of his Inspection Boards, the Material Command, and the Maintenance Community. By his distinctive performance, unerring loyalty, and his inspiring devotion to duty Rear Admiral Bulkeley reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Second Gold Star in lieu
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC

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