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Awarding Eagle Scout to returning veterans

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On 3/16/2018 at 5:10 PM, ALongWalk said:

Just stumbled across this obit:


RIP and thank you for your service to scouting and for raising a fine son who also served Scouting and our country.

Interesting bit:


At that time, the Council approved his receiving the Eagle Scout Badge because of his service in the Navy, even though he was past age 18. He was awarded his Eagle Badge along with 5 members of his troop!

It refers to his service in the Navy during WW2. I wonder how common such late Eagle Scouts were after the war? This is the first I heard of the practice.

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@Rick_in_CA , I created a new topic

Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey was awarded his Eagle in 1948. Our top submarine commander who had been awarded FOUR Navy Crosses, the Medal of Honor , and sank an empty train came back for his Eagle!

When Fluckey was 10 years old, he heard a radio address from President Calvin Coolidge that emphasized persistence as the main ingredient to success. President Coolidge said, “Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Eugene was so impressed he named his dog Calvin Coolidge.

This inspired the boy to excel, and he graduated at the young age of 15. His father felt Eugene was too young for college, so he enrolled him in the Mercersberg Academy. A professor convinced Eugene to take an eight-hour math exam. The professor had enough confidence in him that he bet $50 that Eugene would win. Since the professor believed in him, Eugene didn’t want to let him down. The exam was so tough that he was only able to complete one and a half questions in the eight hours. Eugene was disappointed, so the professor told him the important thing was that he did his best. When the results came in, Fluckey won – no one else could complete a problem. Following his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1938, he entered the submarine service.

During WWII, Fluckey commanded the submarine Barb. The Navy credits him with over 95,000 tons of Japanese vessels sunk. He is also credited with sinking 16 ships, and assisting in the sinking of a seventeenth. In September of 1944, he sank the carrier Unyo and a freighter in the same torpedo salvo.

Before dawn on January 23, 1945, Fluckey’s sub entered an uncharted, mined, and rocky harbor in occupied China. The water was so shallow that the sub attacked on the surface. They hit six of the thirty ships in the harbor and blew up an ammunition ship in the attack. While evading two pursuing Japanese frigates, the Barb set a world record for submarines at 23.5 knots.

The Barb became the only submarine to launch rockets against Japan when they attacked an air base and factories in the summer of 1945.

On July 23, 1945, the Barb launched two rafts on a sabotage raid from 950 yards off the coast of Sakhalin Island. Trains used the tracks to transport military supplies. Fluckey sought as many former Boy Scouts as he could muster for the mission – he knew they would be able to find their way in unfamiliar territory at night. The eight volunteers paddled ashore under cover of darkness where they set explosives on a railroad track. As they paddled back to the sub, a train set off charges, destroying the track and the sixteen-car train. The Barb became the only sub to sink a train, and performed the only landing of U.S. forces on mainland Japan.

Fluckey reached the rank of Rear Admiral before retiring in 1972, and was the most decorated submariner in history. Under his command, none of his crew were ever awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded or killed. Following the war, Fluckey became an Eagle Scout for the Boy Scouts in 1948. Fittingly, Fluckey had the philosophy, “We don’t have problems, just solutions.”




Edited by RememberSchiff
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the Admiral's book, Thunder Below, was a good read as I recall.....  I didn't know he earned Eagle after the war..... well maybe it was mentioned in the book and I just forgot....


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While researching other Eagles awarded later,  note a relevant rule from Guide to Advancement Submit (Eagle application) to Council Center

"... There is no requirement that an application must be completed or submitted before the 18th birthday. Councils do not have the authority to reject applications submitted on or after that date."


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45 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

When did the Eagle at 18 cut off begin?

In 1952, age limits were set so that adults over 18 years of age could no longer earn Eagle Scout

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Colonel Mitchell Paige, USMC

After earning enough merit badges for Eagle Scout, Mitchell Paige left his hometown of McKeesport, Pa., to join the Marines in September 1936.

Six years later, he was awarded the Medal of Honor while commanding a machine gunner group against the Japanese during World War II.

Paige had never heard a word about his Eagle Scout award, nor did he know what happened to his application paperwork. It took an investigation by an FBI agent to determine that Paige (age 84 in 2003)  was eligible for the honor.

For years, Paige considered himself an Eagle Scout. The values of scouting and his faith steeled him against the challenges he was to face in battle.

“I looked back on my scouting days and the Boy Scout oath,” said Paige, who was a platoon sergeant when he reached Guadalcanal in October 1942. “I reminded my guys to be patriotic and loyal to the nation and God.”

On Oct. 26, 1942, Paige was leading a platoon of 33 men when the Japanese broke through the line directly in front of his position.

Paige received the Medal of Honor for continuing to fight against the Japanese, although all his men were either killed or wounded. He moved from gun to gun, continuing to fire until reinforcements arrived. He then led a bayonet charge and drove the Japanese line back.

A few weeks after the battle, Maj. Gen. A. A. Vandergrift, commander of the First Marine Division and later commandant of the Marine Corps., commended Paige, “Son, that was an important hill that you and your men held. It was the last major Japanese effort to dislodge us and capture the airstrip.”

Paige was given a battlefield promotion to second lieutenant and was one of 440 Medal of Honor recipients in World War II, although 250 were honored posthumously.

Along the way, Paige wrote a book, “A Marine Named Mitch,” and was the model for a GI Joe Marine.

In a telephone interview from his home in La Quinta, Calif., Paige said that over the years he has spoken proudly of being an Eagle Scout and mentioned it in speeches he made as a Medal of Honor winner.

A few years ago, Paige spoke to a gathering of Boy Scouts aboard the USS Constellation.

“I told them I was proud to address them as an Eagle Scout,” Paige said.

After the speech, Paige said he was shown a book that contained the names of everyone who had received the Eagle award.

“I was ready to collapse and die right there,” he said. “That was the saddest time in my lifetime when I didn’t find my name in that book.”

Paige told his story to a friend, Thomas A. Cottone Jr., a special agent with the FBI. Paige had been the liaison officer from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to the FBI, working on a project with Cottone to expose Medal of Honor impostors.

Paige had earlier worked with Congress to increase the penalties for posing as a Medal of Honor recipient.

Cottone, also an Eagle Scout, began investigating Paige’s case.

“I didn’t know he was working on this,” Paige said.

Paige’s scoutmaster in 1936 had died, but Cottone was able to find a classmate to verify his story. She was at school the day it was announced that Paige had completed his Eagle Scout work and would soon be receiving his award.

“I can think of no greater event to promote the standards and ideals of the Boy Scouts of America than to welcome this true American hero into the ranks of Eagle Scouts,” Cottone said.

Cottone’s connection with an official of the National Eagle Scout Association in Jacksonville resulted in the North Florida Council No. 87, Boy Scouts of America handling the paperwork for Paige’s award. It was approved Feb. 7, 2003 by the BSA National Advancement Committee.

Colonel Paige was awarded his Eagle on March 24, 2003


From 2003, Sarasota,FL Herald-Tribune



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George Maher, USN

In March 1944, 16-year-old George Maher sat down before a Boy Scouts’ Board of Review in Queens, N.Y., that would decide if he had earned the organization’s top rank – Eagle Scout.

Thirty minutes into the review, Maher’s evaluation was interrupted by a knock on the door. Maher’s mother and uncle were there to tell him that his father, who had a history of heart problems, was in dire condition in the hospital.

Maher’s father would die that night. A few weeks later, Maher would enlist in the U.S. Navy, eventually shipping off to the Pacific to help win World War II.

More details at source links below.



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Lowell William Badgley Sr.,  Army Air Force

A graduate of Fosdick-Masten Park High School, he joined Boy Scout Troop 76 in 1934 and had completed requirements to become an Eagle Scout before enlisting in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

He served in the Panama Canal Zone. After he returned from military service, he was awarded the Eagle badge.

In 1946, he married Ruth Schwegler and became assistant scoutmaster of Troop 76. In 1953, he moved to the Town of Tonawanda, where he became committee chairman of Cub Scout Pack 183. He later became Cubmaster and Webelos leader of that pack.


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I guess this would be anecdotal, but here it goes. One of my Scouts had "delayed entry" into  the air force. He could not get his EBOR in before basic training, and he turned 18 during training. Long story short, he comes back from basic, gets a BOR scheduled, and the night of the BOR, the district rep discovers that he missed the no questions asked deadline by 2 days, and he needed to appeal to national. They had a nice "chat" with him, wished him well on his appeal, and stated they will be more than willing to do an EBOR for him.  He got Eagle, but by the time everything was approved and done, he left for active duty. Never did have his ECOH.


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Interesting thread!

One thing that isn't clear from Bob J. Tilllerson obit, is did he complete all the requirements before leaving for the Navy like most of the examples given here? Or were some of the requirements waved on account of his ww2 service?

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It now occurs to me that I noted while doing research on my own unit for "lost" Eagles that we had a number of long time senior scouts with possibly the needed requirements, but who were not on any list from the period.  Two or three were carried on our charter throughout WWII, listed as "In Service" or similar wording.  Wonder if any of their records should be reexamined; though they are all gone now as far as I know.

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On 3/24/2018 at 12:57 PM, skeptic said:

It now occurs to me that I noted while doing research on my own unit for "lost" Eagles that we had a number of long time senior scouts with possibly the needed requirements, but who were not on any list from the period.  Two or three were carried on our charter throughout WWII, listed as "In Service" or similar wording.  Wonder if any of their records should be reexamined; though they are all gone now as far as I know.

But perhaps not forgotten. Finding "lost" Eagles might be an interesting service project.

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