Barry K. Atkins
|Barry Kennedy Atkins|
Barry K. Atkins on the bridge of USS Melvin, 1945.
August 2, 1911|
|Died||November 15, 2005
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1932-1959|
|Commands held||USS Melvin|
|Battles/wars||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." [permanent dead link]
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.
- "Barry Kennedy Atkins, Rear Admiral, United States Navy". Arlington National Cemetery website. Retrieved 2007-10-08.