Honoring CAPT Bucklew
In direct support of our mission, we are renaming our Center in honor of retired Navy Captain, Phil Bucklew, a 1936 graduate of Xavier University. To accomplish this, we have a goal to raise $5 million dollars over the next three years that will allow the Xavier Veteran and Military Family Center to operate in perpetuity. To donate, please click the “MAKE A GIFT” button above. Thank you!
Donations are applied to:
The mission of the Xavier University Veteran and Military Family Center is to provide personalized world-class support to enhance the educational experience of Veterans and military-affiliated students that results in unconditional success in the classroom and beyond. Your donation will help sustain the operations of the Center for generations to come.
On this day in Bucklew history...
In January 1944, Bucklew and another officer, swam ashore at night to collect sand samples from the target beach, which would be later referred to as Omaha Beach for the D-Day invasion. The mission planners needed to know whether the sand would support heavy vehicles. On another occasion, Bucklew was brought within 300 yards of the beach by a kayak paddled by a British Commando. He swam the rest of the way and hid in the water to watch and time sentry patrols, before going ashore to collect more sand samples and other useful intelligence.
Captain Bucklew’s lifetime accomplishments:
Navy Reserve ’30-’36, ’46-‘48
Active Navy ’42-’46, ’48-‘69
Founding member of the Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (Navy SEALs); US Navy Scouts and Raiders and Underwater Demolitions Teams. He is commonly referred to as the “Father of Naval Special Warfare” (Navy SEALs)
Awarded two Navy Crosses for beach reconnaissance prior to D-Day (Operation Overlord) in Normandy France and Operation Husky, in Sicily. Also awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star. Conducted covert Omaha Beach reconnaissance in February 1944.
Served in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.
The Center for Naval Special Warfare in Coronado, California is named in his honor.
He is a 2016 inductee into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame.
Died and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992.