United States Submarines and the Medal of Honor

Throughout our nation’s history, eight different submariners have earned the Medal of Honor.  Seven of the eight recipients were commanders of attack submarines in the Pacific during World War II.  In that theater American submarines played a central role in defeating Imperial Japan, sinking more Japanese ships than any other platform.  Learn more about these brave members of the Silent Service who went above and beyond the call of duty. 

Medal of Honor Recipients

Locations of Submarine Medal of Honor Actions During World War II

Locations of Medal of Honor submarine actions during World War II

Other Submarine-Related Medals of Honor


Recommended Reading

  • Clear the Bridge!: The War Patrols of the USS Tang by Richard O’Kane
  • Thunder Below: The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II by Eugene Fluckey
  • Battle Surface!: Lawson P. ‘Red’ Ramage and the War Patrols of the USS Parche by Stephen Moore
  • Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder by Micheal Sturma
  • Silent Victory: The US Submarine War Against Japan by Clay Blair Jr.

Learn More

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National Medal of Honor Museum

Through education, leadership, and inspiring spaces for learning and reflection, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation preserves and expands the impact of the 3,511 award recipients and the more than 40 million Americans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since the Civil War.

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