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."
Department of the Navy