Who is Richard O’Kane?

By | November 25, 2021

[November 25, 2021]  If you were in the U.S. Navy, you just might have heard of Richard O’Kane.  More often called “Dick” O’Kane, he was one of the most courageous submariners of all time.  Why his name and story are rarely told is hard for me to explain.  It should be told.  His stories of attacks on Japanese shipping in the Pacific are legend.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for commanding the USS Tang during wartime is only a tiny part of the real story.  As Executive Officer aboard the USS Wahoo and as Commander of the USS Tang, O’Kane was a part of more successful attacks on Japanese shipping than any other submarine during the war or any since.1

One of his favorite tactics was to take the Tang into an enemy convoy and attack ships ahead and behind in the heart of the convoy while avoiding escorting combat ships. O’Kane regularly “mixed it up” inside the defensive perimeter of Japanese convoys, creating enough chaos that he could successfully destroy large numbers of vessels in a single operation.

Under O’Kane, his submarine also participated in “lifeguard duty,” rescuing downed pilots.  Off the island of Turk, he and the Tang rescued 22 airmen in one mission, earning a Presidential Unit Citation.

On his last voyage, in the Formosa Sea, O’Kane launched a spread of three torpedoes, and the third circled back and sunk the Tang. O’Kane and eight of his crew survived the sinking, but only five, including O’Kane, survived being exposed to the cold water and were taken prisoner by the Japanese. O’Kane spent the remainder of the war at the Japanese  Prisoner of War Camp, Omori, Japan. He was later a witness at the Japanese War Crimes Trials.2

The Wardroom of the oldest active attack submarine in the Pacific Fleet carries a cribbage board presented to RADM O’Kane by the commissioning crew of the second USS TANG (SS-563). When decommissioned, the board transfers to the next oldest attack boat in the Pacific.

Rear Admiral O’Kane and his wife are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. O’Kane is a true American hero, one to be copied and respected.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_O%27Kane
  2. http://navylog.navymemorial.org/okane-richard


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

15 thoughts on “Who is Richard O’Kane?

  1. Oakie from OK

    YES! …. and important to recognize our heroes. Maybe it is too late for this man to know that ordinary individuals like me are great admirers. But I’m writing it now.

  2. Chance Kid

    Another real American hero. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for highlighting this American. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
    Nothing like knowing about some of the greatest men on earth.

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      …. and we need more heroes to emulate. We all for some inborn reason are attracted to strong men who know their jobs and can lead others regardless of the danger to one’s own life and others. This is what real manhood is about and why the US helped win WW2. Let’s never forget them. I wish there was more to read about this man.

        1. Ronny Fisher

          Above all, The Bravest Man is the dramatic story of mavericks who broke the rules and set the pace to become a new breed of hunter/killer submariners who waged a unique brand of warfare. These undersea warriors would blaze their own path to victory–and transform the “Silent Service” into the deadliest fighting force in the Pacific.

  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Excellent article on a real AMERICAN hero. I never heard of him but why? Someone is not telling us about heroes for some hidden reason. Why is that?

  4. Janna Faulkner

    RADM O’Kane is a true American Hero par excellence! Of course, we need real men like him today more than ever. Given that we have a weak sissyman in the White House, and a socialist one at that (a hidden Communist who sucks up to dictators across the world), we should all resist his anti-American ways by speaking up, writing articles (like Gen. Satterfield does), and protest peacefully. Have a great Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Janna, you got that right. Joe Biden is a disaster. I give thanks every day that he has not embroiled us in another war or taken ALL our freedoms away. I know he is after freedom and wants to destroy America.

      1. Tony Cappalo

        Good points here Janna and Tom. Thank you for your insight. I do, however, think that this is what America is finally waking up to see.

        1. Janna Faulkner

          Appreciate the feedback everyone. Oh, besides having a great Thanksgiving Day, please be sure to not let the whacko liberals in your families take over the conversation about how much “better” off we are today without Donald Trump. The retard in the Oval Office should be called what he really is …. a RETARD.

          1. Guns are Us

            “Retard” is a word that triggers leftist commies. Oh, and the word “triggers” also triggers them because it refers to part of a GUN – heaven forbid.

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