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First Name: Richard

Last Name: McCool

Birthplace: Tishomingo, OK, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: Annapolis, MD
Middle Name: Miles

Date of Birth: 04 January 1922

Date of Death: 05 March 2008

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served: 1944-1974
Richard Miles McCool, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Richard Miles McCool, Jr.

Captain, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr. (4 January 1922 - 5 March 2008) was a retired U.S. Navy officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Richard M. McCool, Jr. was born on 4 January 1922 in Tishomingo, OK. McCool graduated from high school at the age of 15 and he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Political Science.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, he was accepted into a new Navy ROTC program, and later was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944 (his class of 1945 graduated a year early). On 10 June 1945, he was serving as a Lieutenant on the USS LCS(L)(3)-122, a Landing Craft Support ship. That day, off the coast of Okinawa Island, McCool helped rescue the survivors of sinking destroyer USS William D. Porter (DD-579). The next day, his own ship was hit by a Japanese kamikaze. Although he suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds in the initial explosion, McCool continued to lead his crew in the firefighting and rescue efforts until relief arrived. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, USS LCS(L)(3) 122.

Place and date: Off Okinawa, 10 and 11 June 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. LCS(L)(3) 122 during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Ryukyu chain, 10 and 11 June 1945. Sharply vigilant during hostile air raids against Allied ships on radar picket duty off Okinawa on 10 June, Lt. McCool aided materially in evacuating all survivors from a sinking destroyer which had sustained mortal damage under the devastating attacks. When his own craft was attacked simultaneously by 2 of the enemy's suicide squadron early in the evening of 11 June, he instantly hurled the full power of his gun batteries against the plunging aircraft, shooting down the first and damaging the second before it crashed his station in the conning tower and engulfed the immediate area in a mass of flames. Although suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, he rallied his concussion-shocked crew and initiated vigorous firefighting measures and then proceeded to the rescue of several trapped in a blazing compartment, subsequently carrying 1 man to safety despite the excruciating pain of additional severe burns. Unmindful of all personal danger, he continued his efforts without respite until aid arrived from other ships and he was evacuated. By his staunch leadership, capable direction, and indomitable determination throughout the crisis, Lt. McCool saved the lives of many who otherwise might have perished and contributed materially to the saving of his ship for further combat service. His valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of extreme peril sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

He retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Captain in 1974 after a 30-year career.

Death and Burial

Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr. died of natural causes on 5 March 2008, at the age of 86, in a hospital in Bremerton, WA. He is buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD, in Columbarium, Section 41.

Honoree ID: 1526   Created by: MHOH




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