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First Name: Samuel

Last Name: Dealey

Birthplace: Dallas, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: Annapolis, MD
Middle Name: David

Date of Birth: 13 September 1906

Date of Death: 24 August 1944

Rank or Rate: Commander

Years Served: 1930 - 1944
Samuel David Dealey

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Samuel David Dealey
Commander, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Commander Samuel David Dealey (13 September 1906 - 24 August 1944) was a U.S. Navy officer and submarine commander during World War II. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor which, when added to his other medals, put him among the most decorated naval officers of the war. Dealey received a total of seven awards for valor.

Samuel David Dealey was born on 13 September 1906 in Dallas, TX, where he attended Oak Cliff High School. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1930.

Dealey had duty on the battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) before training as a submarine sailor. In command of USS S-20 (SS-125) at the outbreak of World War II, he assumed command of USS Harder (SS-257) upon her commissioning on 2 December 1942. Commander Dealey guided his submarine deep into enemy waters, wreaking destruction on Japanese shipping.

On Harder's fifth war patrol, Commander Dealey pressed home a series of bold and daring attacks, both surfaced and submerged, that sank three enemy destroyers and damaged two others. For his exceptional gallantry in these actions, Commander Dealey was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy.

Place and date: Near Philippine Islands, 6-10 June 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the USS Harder during her 5th War Patrol in Japanese-controlled waters. Floodlighted by a bright moon and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort which bore down with intent to attack, Comdr. Dealey quickly dived to periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened fire, sending the target and all aboard down in flames with his third torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again surfaced and, within 9 minutes after sighting another destroyer, had sent the enemy down tail first with a hit directly amidship. Evading detection, he penetrated the confined waters off Tawi Tawi with the Japanese Fleet base 6 miles away and scored death blows on 2 patrolling destroyers in quick succession. With his ship heeled over by concussion from the first exploding target and the second vessel nose-diving in a blinding detonation, he cleared the area at high speed. Sighted by a large hostile fleet force on the following day, he swung his bow toward the lead destroyer for another "down-the-throat" shot, fired 3 bow tubes and promptly crash-dived to be terrifically rocked seconds later by the exploding ship as the Harder passed beneath. This remarkable record of 5 vital Japanese destroyers sunk in 5 short-range torpedo attacks attests to the valiant fighting spirit of Comdr. Dealey and his indomitable command.

Commander Dealey was lost with the Harder and all her hands during her sixth war patrol, when she was sunk by a depth charge attack off Luzon, Philippines, on 24 August 1944.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Navy Cross with 3 Gold Stars (4 Awards)
Army Distinguished Service Cross (presented by General Douglas MacArthur)
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart
Presidential Unit Citation (US) *

* Awarded to the USS Harder for its performance in combat under Dealey's command.


In 1953, USS Dealey (DE-1006) was named in his honor; she was the lead ship of her class of destroyer escort.

Death and Burial

Commander Samuel David Dealey was killed in action, along with all hands of the USS Harder, when she was sunk by depth charges on 24 August 1944. Commander Dealey's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, Manila City, Philippines.

Honoree ID: 1362   Created by: MHOH




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