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PM3 Henry Warren Tucker
1919 - 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ship was named in honor of  PM3 Henry Warren Tucker of York, Alabama, USNR. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism during the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7 May 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker was called to active duty in July, 1941, and reported to the Naval Hospital at Pensacola, Florida.

On 15 January 1942, Tucker reported aboard the tanker USS Neosho (AO-23) for duty. The Neosho had survived the Pearl Harbor attack despite being berthed on "Battleship Row."

During the opening phase of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japanese naval forces launched an all-out aerial attack on what they believed was the main U.S. battle force. What the Japanese found instead was the Neosho and destroyer USS Sims (DD-409) waiting at a refueling rendezvous.

Facing a 60-plane attack, the fate of the two American ships was never in doubt. The Sims exploded and sank immediately with a loss of almost the entire crew. Despite its cargo of burning aviation gas and fuel oil. the Neosho managed to remain afloat for awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For his actions during the sinking of the Neosho, Tucker was awarded the Navy Cross. The citation reads as follows:

"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of  his professionalism following the attack on the USS Neosho by enemy Japanese aerial forces on 7 May 1942.

"With complete disregard for his own life, Tucker swam between the various life rafts carrying tannic acid in his hands to treat the burns of the injured men.

"He hazarded the dangers of exposure and exhaustion to continue his task, helping the injured to boats but refusing a place for himself.

"Tucker was subsequently reported as missing in action and it is believed he lost his life in his loyal and courageous devotion to duty.

His valorous actions enhance and sustain the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

U.S. Department of the Navy
(1942)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USS Henry W. Tucker
DD 875