John D. BULKELEY

Family tree of John D. BULKELEY

World Wars & Contemporary Wars

AmericanBorn John Duncan BULKELEY

Vice Admiral in United States Navy and one of the most decorated naval officers

Born on August 19, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA , United States

Died on April 06, 1996 in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

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Bulkeley was born in New York City and grew up on a farm in Hackettstown, New Jersey where he graduated from Hackettstown High School. Unable to gain an appointment to Annapolis from his home state of New Jersey, he gained an appointment from the state of Texas. Due to budget constraints, only the upper half of the 1933 Academy class received a commission upon graduation. John Bulkeley, noted early on for his intense interest in engineering, joined the Army Air Corps. Like the flying machines of the day, he landed hard more than once. After a year, and because the President and Congress permitted additional commissions in the Navy (as a government plan for additional jobs), Bulkeley gave up flying for the deck of a cruiser, the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), as a commissioned officer in the Navy.



Bulkeley charted an interesting course in his early years and was recognized early on by the Navy's leadership. As a new ensign in the mid-1930s, he took the initiative to remove the Japanese ambassador's briefcase from a stateroom aboard a Washington-bound steamer, delivering it to Naval Intelligence a short swim later. This bold feat, the first of many in his life, did not earn him any medals, but it did get him a swift one-way ticket out of the country and a new assignment as Chief Engineer of a coal-burning gunboat, the USS Sacramento (PG-19), also known in those parts as "The Galloping Ghost of the China Coast". There he met Alice Wood, a young, attractive English girl, at a dinner party aboard HMS Diana (H49). In China, they witnessed the invasion of Swatow and Shanghai by Japanese troops and the bombing of USS Panay (PR-5), the first US Navy ship sunk in World War II.

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Geographical origins

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