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Renowned Submariner Reaches Final Destination
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Barry Hirayama,

USS PASADENA, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Pasadena (SSN-752) bid farewell to the decorated submarine hero, retired Rear Adm. Eugene B. Fluckey, during a burial-at-sea, Jan. 24, in the South China Sea.

Pasadena, half way through its six-month deployment, scattered Fluckey's ashes at the exact location Fluckey and the crew of USS Barb saved 14 prisoners of war during World War II.

Pasadena Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Doug Perry, delivered words of remembrance from the bridge of the Los Angeles-class submarine while Lt. Cmdr. Lee P. Sisco, the ship's executive officer, committed Fluckey to the sea as the crew observed a moment of silence below decks.

Perry said that the admiral and the crew of the Barb are icons of the submarine force after their efforts during World War II.

"I think that everybody aboard the ship is pretty excited to have taken Adm. Gene Fluckey to his final resting place," Perry said.

The portion of Fluckey's remains has been traveling with Pasadena since they departed Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Oct. 31.

During a submarine warfare pinning ceremony held in Subic Bay, Philippines, Command Master Chief (SS) Jim Lyle, Pasadena's chief of the boat, read an excerpt from the book "Thunder Below!," an account of Fluckey's achievements during World War II.

Sonar Technician (Submarine) Seaman (SS) Joshua Coble, who was pinned with his "Dolphins" during the ceremony, was selected to bring Fluckey's ashes aboard Pasadena.

"This is an honor," Coble said. "I can't really put it into words what this actually means to me. First, I got my Dolphins pinned on, then to be picked out of 154 crew members to carry Adm. Fluckey's ashes aboard; it is something I will remember I'm sure the rest of my life."

According to Lyle, a reading from distinguished submariners during pinning ceremonies is a Pasadena tradition.

"This is how we remember and honor those from the past and make sure the new submariners know the great history of our force," Lyle said.

Pasadena posted Fluckey's biography, his Medal of Honor citation and other accomplishments throughout the boat to inform the crew of his legacy as a submariner.

"I think during this deployment we honor him more," said Lyle. "Normally, there are seven Medal of Honor winners we discuss. But in particular on this deployment, we have the right to talk a little more about one than any other, and that is Fluckey."

Fluckey is responsible for the most tonnage destroyed in World War II and received the Medal of Honor, four Navy Crosses, The Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and numerous other awards and decorations throughout his illustrious career.

According to Lyle, Fluckey's "Thunder Below!" is one of three books that submariners most commonly read.

Pasadena is on a scheduled six-month deployment to the western Pacific Ocean and is homeported at Naval Station Pearl Harbor.

Photo:
U.S. photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Barry R. Hirayama







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