Rear Admiral Thomas B. Klakring
Born in Annapolis, Maryland on 19 December 1904, as the only child of
Colonel and Mrs. Leslie Klakring, he entered the Naval Academy from the
State of Connecticut, and graduated with the Class of 1927.
A submarine hero of the Pacific War in World War II, Admiral Klakring
was credited with sinking eight Japanese ships within sight of Japanese
ports, after taking his submarine, USS GUARDFISH, into Japanese water
previously un-patrolled by American submarines. Without the benefit of
sophisticated SONAR, GUARDFISH sighted, or torpedoed, 77 enemy vessels
in about 35 days, during one of her war patrols. Then LCDR Klakring
commanded GUARDFISH from 1941 to 1943.
While under LCDR Klakring's command, GUARDFISH chalked up an impressive
record. She left on her first war patrol on 6 August 1942 for the
eastern shore of Honshu, and sent eight enemy ships, totaling 51,055
tons, to the bottom, and damaged a 7,000 ton freighter. In October,
during her second war patrol, GUARDFISH sank another freighter and a
tanker, and damaged another freighter in the East China Sea. On
GUARDFISH's third war patrol, in the Rabaul-Kavieng area, additional
Japanese shipping was sunk, including two naval vessels.
For his heroism while commanding GUARDFISH, Klakring was awarded the
Navy Cross with two Gold Stars (in lieu of second and third awards). In
addition, GUARDFISH was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation while
under Klakring's command.
Admiral Klakring's other decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze
Star (both for heroism during World War II), China Service Medal,
American Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal,
Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory