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After an enemy Japanese plane crashed into the water besides the USS William D. Porter, it exploded causing the destroyer to partially leave the water and crash down again. Thanks to Lieutenant Richard Miles McCool Jr., the commander of a smaller Landing Craft Support ship (LCS-122), all 300 crew members were evacuated to safety.
The next day, on June 11th, 1945, the LCS-122 was subject to its own Kamikaze attack that made a direct hit to its bow. The impact caused an explosion and a serious fire that threatened to ignite the ship’s ammunition cache, igniting 120 rockets all at once. Despite his right side being covered in burns and shrapnel, Lt. McCool helped two wounded sailors escape the flaming deckhouse, and directed his crew in order to keep the fire from spreading. His lung then collapsed, but he was able to receive aid and be evacuated to another LCS.
Lt. McCool was awarded the Medal of Honor role in saving both the crew of the USS William D. Porter on June 10th, and his own crew on June 11th, 1945.
In Partnership with The National Medal of Honor Museum
The museum offers an experience that draws personal and emotional connections to Medal of Honor recipients and their stories, while shedding light on the wars in which they fought and the ideals that the Medal of Honor represents. Visitors come to understand the meaning and price of freedom—and appreciate the virtue of putting service above self.
The National Medal of Honor Museum also includes an education center aimed at character development in our nation’s youth. A critical part of their mission is to use the stories of our Medal of Honor recipients to inspire young people, and motivate them to be their best selves.
For more information please visit their website.