Whenever I add a member from the extremely coveted Badass of the Week by wordsmith Ben Thompson, which will be a rarity because this is a different selection of monumental icons, not just ball shattering badasses, I need to give a bow in appreciation at the gloriousness that Thompson writes on a weekly/monthly basis.
It’s almost a disservice to rewrite in my voice as to what Slade Cutter accomplished as opposed to Thompson’s. I’ll do my best Spark Notes version of the impressive word mastery from BoTW. For the full version, click the link above. I mean I could just provide a link out of pure laziness, but that doesn’t make the crowd roar, that likely has one drooling down the side of their face like they were sitting in 9th grade algebra on the last day of school before summer break starts.
I’m here to make it rain, I’m here to provide excitement to the mind-numbing nonsense you read on a daily basis, I’m here to provide a thrilling account of one of the most impressively likable Human being’s you’ve likely never heard of and make his life story known to the masses.
So without further ado, I’m here to announce the third addition to the Human Hall OF Fame, the legendary Slade Cutter. Cutter is known as one of the most successful Submarine Commanders in U.S. Navy history. During WWII he earned FOUR Navy Crosses and TWO Silver Stars. To provide some context, the Medal Of Honor is the highest military medal awarded for bravery in the U.S. military, the Navy Cross is the second highest and the Silver Star is the third.
Cutter grew up in Oswego, Illinois in 1911. Coming from an All-American family where his father played professional football subsequently turning him into a vegetable after becoming severely injured. His mother scoffed at the idea of Slade following in his father’s footsteps, at least for much of his childhood, so she enrolled him into the proper world of Flute supremacy.
Before you go on a mental tirade assaulting one of the most badass military Commanders in U.S. history for being an elegant chap, a savant in the woodwind instrument world, take a step back and check yourself before you riggity wreck yourself.
Slade Cutter took this in stride and slayed every would be Flute competition across the country. One of the more prestigious competitions was judged by John Philips Sousa, also known as the guy who created the iconic Marine Corps March, and Cutter kicked that competition’s ass.
And if you don’t think playing a Flute is remotely badass, then you can at least respect what Slade Cutter listed in his yearbook as his vices when he was attending the US Naval Academy, “Tobacco, Swearing, and Flute”.
How did a guy who didn’t play football growing up as a kid get inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame? Well, he played High School football under a guy named Paul Brown. Like The Brown. The only Brown that matters in the grand scheme of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns are named after him.
Brown noticed an impressive frame in Cutter standing at 6’1” weighing 205 lbs in High School and recruited him to play football. Though initially attending the Naval Academy in Annapolis to become a professional flutist, Cutter became an All-American College Football player. Cutter was so beast-mode he played every down on the field; Offense as a Tackle, Defense as a Defensive Tackle, and Special Teams as the Kicker.
One of his most notable feats as a player came in the Army-Navy game when the rivalry was at an all-time high, kicking the game winning field goal in 1934 securing a win over Army 3-0, the first time Navy beat Army in 13 years. His accomplishments earned him a coveted position in to College Football Hall of Fame.
And if you thought that was an accomplished collegiate athlete career, he also was a two-time intercollegiate championship boxer. How the hell did guys keep their girlfriends when this guy was around? Could swoon your girl with his flute like the Mr. Fancy Pants that he is, then beat you to death when you got something to say about it.
After graduating from the Naval Academy, Cutter was assigned to the USS Pompano just 11 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A respected leader who taught his subordinates to calculate torpedo trajectories in their heads to save precious time while having underwater deathmatches with the Japanese Navy.
In 1943 Cutter was reassigned to the USS Seahorse where he was responsible for destroying 3 trawlers then Leroy Jenkins’ing it into a 17 ship-convoy off the coast of Japanese waters. After depleting every last one of his torpedo ammunition, 9 enemy warships were sunk and 48,000 Japanese war materials were Titanic’ing deep below the sea.
Over the next year Cutter bob’d and weave’d like his days as a Collegiate Boxer, but this time with a massive submarine avoiding Japanese Depth Charges that would cripple any lesser of a Commander’s souls. Cutter traveled on a 3 day journey to sneak-attack unsuspecting Japanese warships, subsequently sinking 2 and sneaking away into the cold dark waters like a Mythical Sea Monster.
After the mayhem settled, the Seahorse under Commander Cutter’s reign, sunk 21 Warships, destroyed 142,300 tons of enemy war materials, accomplishing the third most successful submarine victories behind Mush Morton and Dick O’Kane in WWII. Cutter was awarded FOUR Navy Crosses, ONE for each tour commanding the Seahorse. He earned TWO Silver Stars, ONE for each tour commanding the Pompano.
After the war he later became the athletic director for the U.S. Naval Academy and later died in 2005 of heart failure at 93 years old.
Gravestone should be a Gravewall and read – Slade Cutter – Vices “Tobacco, Swearing, and Flute”