Barry K. Atkins

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Barry Kennedy Atkins
Atkins barry k.png
Barry K. Atkins on the bridge of USS Melvin, 1945.
Born (1911-08-02)August 2, 1911
Annapolis, Maryland
Died November 15, 2005(2005-11-15) (aged 94)
Richmond, Virginia
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1932-1959
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands held USS Melvin
Battles/wars World War II
Awards

Rear Admiral Barry Kennedy Atkins (August 2, 1911 – November 15, 2005) was an officer of the United States Navy best known for his achievements as a destroyer captain in World War II.

Atkins graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1932, and was commissioned as a career naval officer. He commanded the destroyer USS Melvin in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and received the Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism" for action during the Battle of Surigao Strait in the Philippines. On October 25, 1944, the Melvin fired a torpedo at the Japanese battleship Fusō, setting off a chain reaction of explosions that sank the ship; according to Jack Green, spokesman at the Naval Historical Center, "the Melvin probably was the only destroyer to sink a battleship in World War II." [1]

Atkins also served on the USS Parrott, USS Tennessee, and the USS New Mexico, among other ships, and was decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and other medals. He retired in October 1959.

Admiral Atkins died at on November 15, 2005 at age 94. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on January 30, 2006.

There has been pressure from crewmen of the Melvin to have a ship named after Atkins; the only official response has been that, as one prominent and highly-decorated officer among many, he is eligible for the honor but not guaranteed it.

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