Captain Richard M. McCool is a native of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, now residing in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and is Oklahoma's only living Medal of Honor recipient. While a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, serving off Okinawa in World War II, he earned the Medal of Honor "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the USS LCS(L)(3)122 during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Ryuku chain.
Lieutenant McCool aided materially in evacuating all survivors from a sinking destroyer which had sustained mortal damage under the devastating attacks. When his own craft was attacked simultaneously by two of the enemy's suicide squadron, he instantly hurled the full power of his gun batteries against the plunging aircraft ... [one attacking aircraft] crashed his station and engulfed the immediate area in a mass of flames. Although suffering from serious wounds, he rallied his concussion-shocked crew and initiated vigorous firefighting measures and then proceeded to the rescue of several trapped in a blazing compartment.