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Richard Hetherington O'Kane

 

TAPS

Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.


Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.


Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery
  59-874 

BORN:  February 02, 1911 at Dover, NH

Entered Service in the US Navy from Durham, NH

Earned the Medal of Honor during World War II For heroism on October 23 & 24, 1944 at Formosa Straits, Philippine Islands

DIED:  February 16, 1994 at the age of 83

Commander O'Kane was C.O. of the U.S.S. Tang, a submarine operating against two enemy Japanese convoys during her fifth and last war patrol. Boldly maneuvering on the surface into the midst of a heavily escorted convoy, he stood in the fusillade of bullets and shells from all directions to launch smashing hits on three tankers, coolly swung his ship to fire at a freighter and shot out of the path of an onrushing transport. Boxed in by several destroyers, he blasted two of the targets with his remaining torpedoes and cleared the area. Twenty-four hours later, he again made contact with a heavily escorted convoy. In defiance of the enemy's relentless fire, he closed the concentration of ships and in quick succession sent torpedoes into the first and second transports and an adjacent tanker, finding his mark with each torpedo in a series of violent explosions at less than l,000-yard range. With ships bearing down from all sides, he charged the enemy at high speed, exploding the tanker in a burst of flame, smashing the transport dead in the water, and blasting the destroyer with a roar which rocked the Tang from stem to stern. He expended his last two torpedoes into the remnants of a once powerful convoy before his own ship went down.

 

 

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