Concept

John D. Bulkeley

Résumé
John Duncan Bulkeley (19 August 1911 – 6 April 1996) was a vice admiral in the United States Navy and was one of its most decorated naval officers. Bulkeley received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was also the PT boat skipper who evacuated General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor in the Philippines and commanded at the Battle of La Ciotat. Bulkeley's PT-boat heroics in defending the Philippines from Japanese invasion in 1941-1942 was the subject of the novel "They Were Expendable" by William Lindsay White in 1942, which was turned into the big screen epic They Were Expendable three years later by director John Ford, starring John Wayne, with Robert Montgomery playing a somewhat fictionalized Bulkeley role. The United States Navy named an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer after him: , commissioned in 2001. Bulkeley was born in New York City and grew up on a farm in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he graduated from Hackettstown High School. He was a 1933 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. In December 1936, he was assigned to the United States Asiatic Fleet where he was appointed as engineering officer onboard in China and witnessed the Japanese invasions of the Chinese cities of Shantou and Shanghai, and the USS Panay incident during the Second Sino-Japanese War. At the dawn of World War II, Bulkeley was a lieutenant in command of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three, a Philippines-based detachment of six motor torpedo boats. He hit his stride as a daring, resourceful and courageous leader. On 11 March 1942, he picked up General Douglas MacArthur, his family, and his immediate staff, who had been ordered to flee the Philippines, and took them aboard PT 41 and other motor torpedo boats through over of open ocean. On arriving at Mindanao, MacArthur said, "You have taken me out of the jaws of death. I shall never forget it." Bulkeley earned many of his array of decorations while in command of that squadron and a subsequent one.
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