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Commanders of the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet

•  Anecdotal Information  •


The information below has been derived from various sources.
Credit has been given when the source is known.

Page last updated: 19 Dec 2012

Commanders (
COMSIXTHFLT) are arranged in chronological order.

Dates
Name
USNA
?

CNO
?
Anecdotal Highlights
1 Jul 1801
to
Apr 1802

Commodore Richard Dale

N/A
•  Flagship USS President (Capt. James Barron)
•  Commander of the first Mediterranean Squadron,
•  Dale entered the merchant service at age 12, and at 19 commanded his first ship.
25 May 1802
to
11 Sep 1803

Commodore Richard V. Morris

N/A •  Flagship USS New York (Capt. James Barron)
•  Received 17-gun salute from VADM Horatio Nelson and the British Fleet at Valletta, Malta

11 Sep 1803
to
May 1803

Commodore John Rodgers

N/A •  Rodgers in 1802, in command of the USS John Adams, sailed for the Mediterranean to attack Barbary forts and gunboats at Tripoli, as part of the First Barbary War. His brilliant record won him appointment as Commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron in May 1805.
May 1803
to
Sep 1804

Commodore Edward Preble
M
N/A •  Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Charles Stewart, Isaac Hull, Thomas MacDonough, James Lawrence, and David Porter served under his command at Tripoli.
•  Flagship: USS Constitution
10 Sep 1804
to
24 May 1805

Commodore Samuel Barron

N/A •  Brother of Commodore James Barron
•  Flagship USS President
24 May 1805
to
27 May 1806

Commodore John Rodgers
N/A •  Rodgers was the father of John Rodgers (1812–1882) who served in the American Civil War, and was the great-grandfather of John Rodgers (1881–1926) who served in World War I. Six ships have been named in their honor, three as USS John Rodgers and three as USS Rodgers.
27 May 1806
to
Aug 1807

Captain Hugh G. Campbell

N/A
Aug 1807
to
14 Jun 1815

???

N/A •  The "War of 1812"
14 Jun 1815
to
??? 1815

Commodore Stephen Decatur

N/A •  It would appear that there were two (2) squadrons in the Mediterranean during the period of the Second Barbary War (1815-16).
??? 1815
to
06 Oct 1815
Commodore William Bainbridge

N/A •  It would appear that there were two (2) squadrons in the Mediterranean during the period of the Second Barbary War (1815-16).
•  In 1800 Bainbridge captained the 24-gun frigate George Washington on a historic first-visit by a US warship to Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire. (
Constantinople is now Istanbul.)
06 Oct 1815
to
??? 1816
Commodore John Shaw

N/A

??? 1816
to
01 Feb 1818
Commodore Isaac Chauncey

N/A
01 Feb 1818
to
1820

Commodore Charles Stewart

N/A
??? 1820
to
4 Jun 1821

Commodore William Bainbridge
N/A

4 Jun 1821
to
??? 1823

Commodore Jacob Jones
M
1799
N/A
??? 1823
to
24 Nov 1824
Commodore John Orde Creigton

N/A

24 Nov 1824
to
30 Aprt 1825

Commodore Thomas MacDonough

N/A
30 Apr 1825
to
31 May 1827

Commodore John Rodgers
N/A
31 May 1827
to
1829

Commodore William I. M. Crane

N/A
1829
to
1832
(Data needed)

N/A
1832
to
1836
Commodore Daniel Todd Patterson
M
20 Aug
1800

N/A
1836
to
1838
Commodore Jesse Duncan Elliott

N/A
1838
to
1841
Commodore Isaac Hull

N/A
1841-1843
Possibly Chas. W. Morgan
(Data needed)

N/A

1843 - 1845
Commodore Samuel L. Breese
M
10 Sep
1810

N/A

1845-1847
Commodore Joseph Smith

N/A
1847 - 1848
(Data needed)
N/A
1848
Commodore William C. Bolton

N/A
1850
Commodore Charles W. Morgan

N/A
? 1850's ?
Captain Elie A. F. Lavallette
N/A •  La Vallette later became one of the first rear admirals appointed in the U.S. Navy when President Abraham Lincoln created the rank in July 1862.
1856
to
1859
Com. Samuel Livingstone Breese
M
10 Sep
1810

N/A •  On 03 Sep 1862, Breese was one of the 13 Commodores selected to fill the list of Rear Admirals, when that rank was introduced into the United States Navy in 1862.
1860
Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy

N/A •  Levy was the first Jewish Commodore of the U.S. Navy.
1860 - 1861
RADM Charles H. Bell
M
N/A
1861 - 1865
(Data Needed)

N/A
1865 - 1867
Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough
M
28 Jun
1812

N/A •  Retired as Commander of the Washington Navy Yard
May 1867
to
Nov 1868
RADM David G. Farragut
M
1810
N/A •  Famous for his quote "Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!"
•  Constructed and was first commander of Mare Island NSY in Vallejo, CA.
•  During the Civil War he captured New Orleans on 29 Apr 29 1862
•  He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and full admiral of the U.S. Navy
Nov 1868
to
Mar 1870
RADM William Radford
M
01 Mar 1825
N/A
Mar 1870
to
01 Jan 1872
RADM Charles S. Boggs
M
Nov 1826
N/A
01 Jan 1872
to
02 Jun 1873
RADM James Alden Jr.
M
01April 1828
N/A Lt. Alden was aboard the U.S.S. Constitution  during her circum- navigation of the globe in the 1840's under Captain John ("Mad Jack") Percival.
02 Jun 1873
to
1875
RADM Augustus Ludlow Case
M
1828
N/A During the Mexican-American War, with 25 men he held the town of Palisada for two weeks against the Mexican cavalry to block the escape of General Santa Ana.
1875 - 1877
RADM John L. Worden
M
10 Jan
1834

N/A LT Worden commanded Monitor against the Confederate vessel Virginia (originally named Merrimack) in first battle of ironclad ships in 1862.
1877 - 1881

RADM John C. Howell

M
09 Jun
1836

N/A
16 Sep 1881
to
10 Mar 1883
RADM James W. Nicholson
M
Feb
1838

N/A Commanded the New York Navy Yard during 1876 to 1880.
10 Mar 1883
 to 1887
RADM Charles H. Baldwin
Yes
(1854)
N/A RADM Baldwin was the official representative of the United States at the coronation of Tsar Alexander III Alexandrovich, Emperor of Russia on May 28, 1883.
1887 - 1889
RADM James A. Greer
M
1854
N/A Enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1848. Greer went to U.S. Naval Academy in 1853.
1889 - 1895
?

N/A
1895 - 1898
RADM Thomas O. Selfridge
Yes
N/A Commanded USS Monitor after LT. John Worden was wounded.
Note: The European Squadron (European Station) fleet vacated the Mediterranean at the
outset of the Spanish - American war, and did not return until July 1901.
31 Jul 1901
to
09 Feb 02
RADM Bartlett J. Cromwell

N/A
09 Feb 1902
to
18 May 02
Capt. Joseph E. Craig (SOP)
N/A
18 May 02
to
1903
RADM Arent S. Crowninshield

N/A
1903
to
1905
ADM Albert S. Barker
N/A
In 1902 the North Atlantic Squadron which had been operating in the North Atlantic was renamed North Atlantic Fleet.
In 1905 the European Squadron was absorbed into the North Atlantic Fleet (North Atlantic Squadron).
On Jan. 1, 1906 the North Atlantic Fleet became the Atlantic Fleet.
31 Mar 1905
to
16 Apr 1907

RADM Robley D. Evans
N/A RADM Evans (USS Connecticut BB 18) commanded the Great White Fleet from 16 Dec 1907 when it departed Hampton Roads, VA until he was relieved of command in San Francisco, CA on 09 May 1908 because of ill health.
16 Apr 1907
to
1909

RADM Charles Stillman Sperry
N/A RADM Sperry relieved RADM Evans in San Francisco and commanded the Great White Fleet for the remainder of the fleet's circumnavigation on 22 Feb 1909 at Hampton Roads VA.





On 11 May 1915 the post of Chief of Naval Operations was established by an Act of Congress.
In 1917, US Naval Forces Operating in European Waters was established for the duration of World War I. (USA involved 1917-18)
1917 (?)
to
1918 (?)

RADM William Sowden Sims
Yes
No
World War I (1914 - 1918).
USA is involved 1917 - 1918.

In 1922, Naval Forces, Europe was established.
The history of Naval Forces, Europe from the end of WWI to the start of WWII is uncertain.
1939 - 1945   World War II
Twelfth Fleet
Established 15 Mar 1943
Became operational 01 Oct 1943
Demobilized late 1945
09 Sep 1943
Admiral Ernest Joseph King
Yes
(1901)
Yes
#9
Admiral King orders consolidation of all U.S. naval forces in Europe under a new Twelfth Fleet.
15 Mar 1943
to
15 Aug 1945
Admiral Harold Rainsford Stark Yes
(1903)
Yes
#8
When Admiral Harold R. Stark became COMNAVEUR in April 1942, he was given the additional duties as Commander, United States Twelfth Fleet. The fleet, which operated in European waters, consisted of one battleship, two cruisers, an aircraft carrier and six destroyers. (from Wikipedia)
16 Aug 1945
to
02 Sept 1945
Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt Yes
(1906)
No

23 Sep 1946
to
Jan 1947
Admiral Richard Lansing Conolly
Yes
(1914)
No
Adm Conolly's last Navy assignment was as president of the US Naval War College Newport, Rhode Island (1950 - 1953). He was president of Long Island University until 1962.
U.S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean (Post WW II)
Jun 1946
to
02 Jul 1948
VADM Bernhard Henry Bieri
Yes
No
Admiral Bieri graduated from the Naval Academy in 1911. He served in the Delaware, Nashville, Montana, Virginia, and Texas until 1919. His later assignments included a sonic survey of the West Coast; a survey of the Alaskan cable from Seattle to Seward; and command of the heavy cruiser Chicago.

After World War II, as a vice admiral, he commanded the Tenth Fleet in the Atlantic and then became Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean, a forerunner of the Sixth Fleet. He was later the senior naval member on a committee serving the United Nations Security Council.

02 Jul 1948
to
14 Nov 1949
VADM Forrest P. Sherman
Yes
Yes

#12

02Nov
1949 to
22Jul
1951

Capt. Forrest P. Sherman was the captain of the USS Wasp CV-7 on 15 Sep 1942 when it was torpedoed by two of a spread of four torpedoes fired by Japanese sub I-19 150 miles SE of San Cristobal Island. As damage to the Wasp intensified, Capt. Sherman consulted with XO Fred C. Dickey and saw no course but to abandon ship. Capt. Sherman ordered “abandon ship” at 1520. At 1600, satisfied that no one was still aboard, Capt. Sherman swung over the lifeline on the fantail and slid into the sea. At 2100, Wasp sank by the bow.

Admiral Sherman had a reputation as a superb planner. In 1943, the Navy assigned Sherman as Deputy Chief of Staff to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. In that capacity he helped plan the victorious Central Pacific campaign. Sherman was named Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations in Jan 1946 and four years later Chief of Naval Operations. As CNO Sherman oversaw the buildup of the Navy during the first, critical year of the Korean War in which naval forces helped turned back the enemy tide. He also adapted the mission of U.S. naval forces to the strategic requirements of NATO established in 1949. Recognized as a skilled strategic planner, Sherman promoted a maritime strategy for the Cold War. He was also a polished flag officer skilled in political military affairs.

•  Two destroyers, USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), were named after him.

14 Nov 1949
to
19 Mar 1951
VADM John Jennings Ballentine
Yes
(1918)
No •  When asked to comment on the United Nations Military Staff Committee negotiations during the 1946-1947 period, Admiral Ballentine (Deputy to Admiral Kelly Turner, said: “Diplomacy is completely frustrating to somebody like Kelly Turner and to me, because you fan the air, and fan a lot of papers, and get absolutely nowhere with it. “

•  From an interview with Admiral Ballentine  on 10 Nov 1967: “My friend, Admiral Kelly Turner . . . insisted that the Navy order me as his Chief of Staff and Deputy. . . . I was not particularly happy over the change in orders, because I had developed into an old seadog and I wanted to get back to sea. However, this was something that had to be accepted, and I accepted it with good grace, principally because my old friend Admiral Turner was so insistent that I come and help him with this job”.

19 Mar 1951
to
27 May 1952
VADM Matthias B. Gardner Yes
No •  Admiral Gardner was instrumental in carrier night ops. He believed that Navy night fighters were prepared to do all carrier-based operations entirely by instruments in pitch blackness. This included taking off from the carriers, navigating, finding and hitting the target, and then returning and landing.   (VADM Gardner commanded the Second Fleet from Sep 50 - Mar 51.)
27 May 1952
to
03 Mar 1954
VADM John H. Cassady
Yes
No •  On 22 Aug 1943, Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix of Spencer, Indiana turned over command of the Aircraft Carrier USS Saratoga CV-3  to Admiral John H. Cassady, also of Spencer. The Navy reports that this appears to be the only time in naval history when an officer turned over command of a capital ship to another officer from the same small town.

•  While Captain John H. Cassady was Commanding Officer of USS Saratoga CV-3 from 22 Aug 43 to 22 Jun 44 the carrier participated in the following operations: 

   • Treasury - Bougainville Operation, 27 Oct - 15 Dec 1943
   •  Gilbert Islands Operation, 20 Nov 1943
   • Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, 17 Feb - 02 Mar 1944
   • Sabang Raid, 19 Apr 1944
   • Soerabaja Raid; 17 May 1944

• VADM Cassady went on to become
CIC, Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (1954-1956).
03 Jun 1954
to
25 Mar 1955
VADM Thomas Selby Combs
Yes
No •  On  29 Jun 1959 Sports Illustrated Magazine posed the question: “Has Los Angeles Replaced New York As A Sports Center?” to which JACK DEMPSEY, Heavyweight Champion said: “After losing the National League New York was well on its way to being a dead sports center, and I said so. The sportswriters took me apart for my statement. The town woke up and these same writers now have something to write about.”....  and to which VICE- ADMIRAL THOMAS S. COMBS Commander Eastern Sea Frontier replied: “No. I've been to a good many places in my naval career, and I've never seen a city that was a greater sports center than New York. However, among the millions here in New York it's a pity there aren't more sports facilities. As an example, why doesn't New York have a stadium like Philadelphia?”

•  Extracted from TIME Magazine article entitled “The Admirals” (Mon., Dec. 06, 1943: “Of commodores, the rank re-created by Congress in April 1943, the Navy has 23, including one EDO, six aviators. Commodores, who wear one star like the Army's brigadier generals, command small task forces; one is serving on Lord Louis Mountbatten's staff; one is commandant of the Naval Operations Base in Londonderry, Northern Ireland; one is chief of the Moroccan Sea Frontier. Youngest of the commodores — and youngest flag officer in the Navy — is Thomas Selby Combs, 45, commander of Navy Aircraft in the Southwest Pacific.”


•  Admiral Thomas S. Combs was Naval Aviator #3064,  Commodore TF 73 Seventh Fleet Air ( WWII),  Commodore TF 73 Seventh Fleet Air ( WWII),  Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics 01 May 1951 – 30 June 1953 and Commander Third Naval District 1959-1961.

•  From 01 Oct 1959 thru 01 Apr 1960 VADM Combs was designated as the Navy's "Gray Eagle". The Gray Eagle Award is presented to the Naval Aviator on continuous active duty in U.S. Navy or Marine Corps who has held that designation for the longest period of time.
25 Mar 1955
to
12 Apr 1956
VADM Ralph A. Ofstie
Yes
(1918)
No In August 1944 RADM Ofstie was Commander Task Group 32.7 / Carrier Division 26 with his flag in the escort carrier USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). When CarDivi26 moved to the Philippines to support the Battle of Leyte Gulf Ofstie was assigned to RADM Clifton Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 code name "Taffy III" where his unit was heavily involved in the Battle off Samar. Pitted against a Japanese naval force consisting of 4 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers (VADM Takeo Kurita), Ofstie's COMCARDIV 26 escort carrier USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was sunk by Japanese Naval gunfire. For this service at Samar Ofstie was awarded the Navy Cross.

After the war he was assigned to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey of Japan where he played a key role in interviewing many of the surviving Japanese officials. On 14 November 1945, Admiral Soemu Toyoda, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy ( from 25 Apr 1945 onward), was interrogated by Rear Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie in Tokyo. During the Tokyo Trials in Oct 1948, Toyoda was the only one of the accused found not guilty on all counts.

On 11 Oct 1949 RADM Ofstie testified before a congressional committee and stated, "strategic air warfare, as practiced in the past and as proposed for the future, is militarily unsound and of limited effect, is morally wrong, and is decidedly harmful to the stability of a post-war world." (See Wikipedia article "Revolt of the Admirals".)

12 Apr 1956
to
04 Aug 1956
VADM Harry D. Felt
Yes
(1923)
No Harry Fel graduated in 1923 from the Naval Academy having accumulated almost as many demerits as anyone in his class.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Felt was transferred to command the air group on the carrier Saratoga. During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 Aug 1942, Felt led Air Group 3 from Saratoga in an attack that sank the Japanese light carrier Ryujo. Diving with his second wave of bombers through enemy flak and fighters, Felt personally scored the first of his group's several 1000-lb bomb hits on the carrier.

Felt had a reputation as an arrogant, caustic, hard-driving perfectionist. "Many people were afraid of him...  he was pretty rough," commented VADM Lawson P. Ramage. A former aide described him as "mean as hell", and his staff complained that he worked "as though there were no holidays, Saturdays and Sundays, and expects others to do the same."

A crack poker player, Felt unapologetically summarized his philosophy as "Trust everybody, but always cut the cards."

Promoted to vice admiral in 1956, Felt commanded the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean for six months before the new CNO, Arleigh Burke, tapped his former assistant to be his vice chief, a promotion that leapfrogged Felt over a score of senior admirals and carried the rank of full admiral.

04 Aug 1956
to
30 Sep 1958
VADM Charles R. "Cat" Brown
Yes
No •  Vice Admiral Charles Randall Brown, 58, commander of the Mediterranean-based Sixth Fleet. To Alabaman "Cat" Brown, bossing this 418,000-ton, 76-ship armada is "the best job in the whole Navy." An unruly plebe at Annapolis, he logged 300 demerits, squeezed out near the bottom of his class ('21). The exuberant Brown spirit chafed at a rash of peacetime desk jobs, boiled over in 1943. "I've got a carrier [the Kalinin Bay], and I'd like a job of work," he told Admiral Raymond A. Spruance. Snapped Spruance: "You've got one." For two years the Kalinin Bay escort carrier steamed through the thick of it, in the Marianas, the China Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Forty years in the Navy have rubbed the undisciplined edges off Scripture-quoting Cat Brown, but they have not blunted his claws. While he is perhaps the U.S.'s smoothest and most widely known diplomat in Mediterranean countries, he keeps the Sixth Fleet ready and able to serve as a massive instrument that can deliver atomic destruction — or the threat of it — anywhere, even to Moscow.  (From Time Mag July 28, 1958.)

•  1956 Suez Crisis began in July. On 29 October Israeli forces began attacks in Egypt. And on the following day Britain and France stepped in as "peace keepers".  The "Naval Institute Historical Atlas of the U. S. Navy" reports that on 30 Oct the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Arleigh Burke signaled Vice Admiral Charles R. “Cat” Brown, the Commander of the Sixth Fleet (COMSIXTHFLT): “Situation tense;  prepare for imminent hostilities.” Brown signaled back: “Am prepared for imminent hostilities, but whose side are we on?” In classic Burke style, the CNO’s return response was, “Keep clear of foreign op areas but take no guff from anybody.”

• 
From 01 Apr 1960 - 02 Jan 1962 VADM Brown was the Navy's "Gray Eagle". He succeeded VADM Combs who held the Gray Eagle title from 01 Oct 1959. 
30 Sep 1958
to
14 Sep
1959
VADM Clarence Eugene Ekstrom
Yes
(1924)


14 Sep 1959
to
13 Jul 1961
VADM Geo. Whelan Anderson Jr. Yes
(1930)
Yes

#16

01Aug
1961
to
01Aug
1963

•  In 1950 General Eisenhower, who was setting up his SHAPE headquarters in Paris, wired CNO Forrest Sherman: SEND ME THE SMARTEST NAVAL AVIATOR YOU'VE GOT. Ike got Anderson, made him senior U.S. officer for plans and operations.

•  He was Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The fleet's quarantine of Cuba enabled the Kennedy administration to compel the Soviet Union to remove its nuclear weapons from the island. Kennedy was quoted as telling him, "Well, Admiral it looks as though this is up to the Navy," to which he replied, "Mr. President, the Navy will not let you down."

•  Many military experts had expected that he would become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). But a series of major policy disputes with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara sidetracked his 36-year Navy career, and he was abruptly replaced as operations chief in 1963. Shortly after that, President John F. Kennedy, pleased with the Navy's handling of the blockade, appointed him as US Ambassador to Portugal. During 3 years there, encouraged plans for peaceful transition of the Portuguese colonies in Africa to national independence.

13 Jul 1961
to
18 Mar 1963
VADM David L. McDonald
Yes
(1928)

Yes

#17

01Aug
1963
to
01Aug
1967


•  From his memoirs regarding his participation in the escalation of the Vietnam War: "Maybe we military men were all weak. Maybe we should have stood up and pounded the table...  I was part of it and I'm sort of ashamed of myself too. At times I wonder, "why did I go along with this stuff?"

18 Mar 1963

to
02 Jun 1964

VADM William E. Gentner Jr.
Yes
No From Time Magazine Apr 3, 1964 : "A taut, efficient planner and a professional perfectionist, Gentner demands that his subordinates be thinking men as well as fighting men...."
02 Jun 1964
to
05 Sep 1966
VADM William E. Ellis
Yes
No From Apr 3, 1964 Time Magazine: "The men and officers of the Sixth Fleet can expect a stern disciplinarian and a 'hard charger'.  In fact, says one fellow officer ruefully, 'He charges so hard sometimes that he steps on the feet of his subordinates.' "
Sep 1966
to
Apr 1967
VADM Frederick L. Ashworth Yes
No Frederick Ashworth (them CDR) was the weaponeer for "Bockscar", the USAAF B-29 that dropped the 22 kiloton atomic bomb "Fat Boy" on Nagasaki, Japan on 09 Aug 1945.
Apr 1967
to
Aug 1968
VADM William I. Martin
Yes
No In 1986, the Tailhook Association, composed of several thousand carrier pilots, placed Martin on its list of those "individuals who have contributed the most to carrier aviation as leaders, operators and innovators." (Took command of 6th Fleet 10 Apr 67.)
Aug 1968
to
Aug 1970
VADM David C. Richardson
Yes
No Admiral Richardson in addition to being the the former Commander of the Sixth Fleet. was also Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Prior assignments include command of Carrier Division Seven (1966), Carrier Division Five and CTF-77 (1966-67). He also served as a pilot and commander of several fighter squadrons, as well as the USS Cimarron and USS Hornet. Retired Admiral Richardson frequently consults with Defense Department advisory panels and military contractors, drawing upon his extensive experience in the field of intelligence.
Aug 1970
to
Oct 1971
VADM Isaac C. Kidd Jr.
Yes
No Isaac C. Kidd Jr. graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy on 14 Dec 1941 and was commissioned an Ensign on December 19, 1941, just 12 days after his father, Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, was killed on board his flagship, the battleship ARIZONA, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1967 Admiral Kidd headed the court of inquiry into the U.S.S. Liberty incident during the Six-Day War in June of that year.

Oct 1971
to
Jun 1973
VADM Gerald E. "Jerry" Miller
Yes
No Alan Gaumer, trumpet player with the Co-op Bop Band, was with the U.S. Navy Show Band in Gaeta in the early 70's. On his web site he says: "....The song I'm talking about was really inspired by the Admiral I worked for back then, Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller. He had a great love for music and of course historically speaking at this time we were in the midst of the “cold” war. Main point here is that he had a knack for finding ways to get people together through music." So I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise that he did it again by virtue of getting Diana (Peterson) and me together. End result is I was privileged to be a part of her very special project. “Merry Christmas with love”."  (Extracted in part from the Co-op Bop Band website.)
Jun 1973
to
05 Sep 1974
VADM Daniel J. Murphy, Sr.
No
No Daniel Joseph Murphy, Sr., ultimately a four-star Admiral served in the White House during the Carter and Reagan administrations after  a 37-year naval career .

Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from the University of Maryland and the Naval War College.
In 1943, during his second year at St. John's University in New York,  he joined the Navy and flew antisubmarine patrols over the North Atlantic during World War II.

In the 1960s he was CO of the USS Bennington. He commanded the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean during the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974. He retired from active service in 1977..

Murphy was principal military assistant to successive Secretaries of Defense Melvin R. Laird and Elliot Richardson, deputy director of the CIA in 1976 and 1977, and deputy undersecretary of defense for policy in the White House from 1977 to 1980 under Jimmy Carter. He was Vice President George H. W. Bush's chief of staff from 1981 to 1985.


Admiral Murphy led a White House drug task force that set up a military-style command and control center in southern Florida in the early 1980s to help curb the flow of drugs from South America and the Caribbean.

He left government service in 1985, at the beginning of President Ronald Reagan's second term, to join the lobbying and public relations firm Hill & Knowlton Worldwide in Washington as a vice chairman.

He died on September 27, 2001 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

......Murphy's son, Admiral Daniel Murphy, Jr. commanded the 6th Fleet from 1998 to 2000
05 Sep 1974
to
Aug 1976
 VADM Frederick C. Turner
?
No In May 1975 the U.S. Sixth Fleet was “locked out” Elefsis, Cyprus of one of its most important bases in the eastern Mediterranean. The government of Greece, angry that the U.S. did not do more to prevent the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, withdrew its permission for the fleet to use the harbor

In response to the announcement VADM Frederick C. Turner issued this statement: "The Sixth Fleet will be able to meet its commitments in support of national policy without home-porting in Athens."

This further complicated the Sixth Fleets deployment in the Mediterranean in that Turkey, angered by U.S. policy on Cyprus, had denied access to Istanbul and Izmir beginning in February 1975.

- - - -

On June 5, 1975, Little Rock joined the ceremonial convoy for the reopening of the Suez Canal. Vice Admiral Turner wrote a short note to commemorate the reopening of the Suez Canal as follows:

Today marks a milestone in world history in which the U.S. Navy has a proud and significant part.  The reopening of the Suez Canal to world commerce is, in large measure, a product of the efforts of the men of CTF Sixty-Five who have labored for more than a year to make this day possible.

This effort demonstrates again the great versatility and capability of the U.S. Navy.  In this instance this expertise was applied for the benefit of all nations of the world who rely on ocean commerce.  The Suez Canal clearance effort brought together, under a U.S. Naval command, members of all United States armed services, and military forces of Egypt, Great Britain, and France, working as a team toward a common goal for the advantage of mankind.

With the opening of this great waterway to the use and for the benefit of the world’s people, it is our earnest hope that the diligent work of our shipmates, American, Egyptian, British and French, will bring the world closer to the peace and stability which we all seek.

FREDERICK C. TURNER
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy
Aug 1976
to
Sep 1978
VADM Harry D. Train II
Yes
No In his memoirs Admiral Train, II recalls: "When I took command of the Sixth Fleet in August 1976.... I had some specific guidance from Admiral Jim Holloway, the CNO. He told me to ensure that when the ASW squadron came over, that they not be just scooped into the assets of Commander Task Force 60, but rather employed in a specific way that would keep them at sea, performing their mission of evaluating the towed-array sonar. The ASW squadron consisted of five towed-array frigates and command ships.( McCloy, Moinester, Connole, Voge and Koelsch.)

This was not in any sense a hunter-killer group...... The ASW squadron spent over 80% of the time at sea, doing their developmental work -- and nothing else.....

The ultimate success story of the ASW squadron was when a Soviet Echo II-class nuclear submarine was picked up by an Atlantic Command submarine outside the Med, trailed through the Strait of Gibraltar without losing contact, and passed to the ASW squadron. Once in the Med, contact was alternately maintained by submarines, P-3s, and the ASW squadron. .... They tracked them for ten days.

The ultimate act was on 28 Aug 1976, when the skipper of the Echo II got mad and ran into the side of the USS Voge......  For some reason, he thought that the ship that was tracking him was the Voge. The Voge was just a communication link. It wasn't a towed-array ship, but they all looked alike. So he decided the Voge was the ship that was causing him all this grief, ......When the Voge started to run, the Echo II came up alongside, about 600 yards out, ran with the Voge for several miles, and then just turned right towards the Voge and ran into it. Tore part of the propeller off the Voge and punctured the hull back there in one of the after compartments, after steering...... The only casualty on the Voge was that a sailor fell off the 01 deck onto the main deck from the impact.

The Echo rolled over about 45 degrees from the impact and just went under and then didn't reappear. At the time that I was called, I was at home in Gaeta, Italy, the home port for my flagship..... which was the cruiser Little Rock. ..... It was the most photographed, recorded collision, I guess, in history. P-3 aircraft taping it, we had tapes of the Voge, we had photographs of the Echo II coming all the way in.

After the collision itself, the Echo finally came up. The whole front of the sail was stove in, and I don't know if they had any antennas or not....  My Soviet friends told me the skipper of the Echo was drunk.
"

Sep 1978
to
Jul 1979
VADM James D. Watkins
Yes
Yes

#22

30Jun
1982
to
30Jun
1986

•  Appreciating that changes were occurring in the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, Admiral Watkins initiated a review of American naval strategy that led the Navy to develop a Maritime Strategy for dealing with the USSR.

•  In the course of his 37 year naval career, he served on both surface ships and submarines and became an experienced submarine officer. Admiral Watkins commanded the U.S. Sixth Fleet and later the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and also served as Chief of Naval Personnel and Vice Chief of Naval Operations

•  Admiral Watkins left an indelible mark on the Navy through the breadth of his thinking and his interest in the individual Sailor. He sought to improve the lot of the individual Sailor with support for their families, a call to excellence, and practical measures to increase compensation.

Jul 1979
to
Jun 1981
VADM William N. Small
Yes
No
Jun 1981
to
Jul 1983
VADM William H. Rowden
Yes
No
Jul 1983
to
Feb 1985
VADM Edward H. Martin
Yes
No
Feb 1985
to
Jun 1986
VADM Frank B. Kelso II
Yes
Yes

#24

29Jun
1990
to
23Apr
1994


As Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet he directed joint Navy-Air Force air strikes against Libya in 1985 and five years later as Chief of Naval Operations he was head of the Navy during Operation Desert Storm launched on 02 Aug 1990. Naval forces he had armed, equipped, and trained prevailed against the enemy in one of the most masterful campaigns in military history. During Kelso’s watch as CNO  allegations surfaced that naval officers had engaged in sexual harassment of women at the annual Tailhook Association conventionEven though Kelso was a proponent of equal rights for women in the Navy, including the right to serve as combat aviators, the Tailhook scandal led to his early retirement

During his forty-two-year career in the Navy, he served tours as commanding officer of nuclear attack submarines Finback and Bluefish and as Commander Submarine Squadron Seven. In 1986 he was named Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and in 1988 Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command. He took the helm as Chief of Naval Operations in 1990.

Jun 1986
to
Aug 1988
VADM Kendall E. Moranville
No
No
Aug 1988
to
Nov 1990
VADM James D. Williams
?
No
Nov 1990
to
Jul 1992
VADM William A. "Bill" Owens
Yes
No
Jul 1992
to
Dec 1993
VADM Thomas J. Lopez
No
No
Dec 1993
to
Apr 1995
VADM Joseph W. Prueher
Yes
No Admiral Prueher has more than 5,600 flight hours and 1,000 carrier landings on his resume and was qualified to operate 52 models of aircraft.

From 1989-1990, Admiral Prueher served as the 73rd Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, then commanded Carrier Battle Group ONE, followed by his commanding the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and NATO Striking Forces. He was appointed as Vice Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon in 1995. Subsequent to his tour as CINCPAC from 1996-99, he was named U.S. Ambassador to China in 1999, serving under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

On 12 Apr 2001 Ambassador
Prueher presented a letter to the Chinese foreign minister, Tang Jiaxuan, which allowed both sides to claim victory in resolving a diplomatic impasse that resulted from a mid-air collision between a US Navy EP-3E ARIES II surveillance aircraft and a People's Liberation Army Navy J-8II interceptor fighter jet.  The letter allowed the twenty-one men and three women to return to the US, ending the 11 days in Chinese custody that began after their plane made an emergency landing on China's Hainan island. (See the article by wikipedia on the "Hainan Island Incident".)

The
letter capped more than a week of negotiations in which each side blamed the other. China demanded an apology and admission of responsibility from the United States, but had to settle for something less. There was never any indication that the US would slow down its electronic spying over China or back away from the sale of weaponry to Taiwan.
Apr 1995
to
Jul 1996
VADM Donald L. Pilling
Yes
No Admiral Pilling's sea experience concerned primarily destroyers. He commanded the USS Dahlgren (DDG-43), was Commander of Destroyer Squadron 26; Commander, Cruiser Group 12; Commander, Saratoga Battle Group; Commander, United States Sixth Fleet and Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe.

Pilling was known for his vast intellect. He graduated fourth in his Naval Academy class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and then further distinguished himself as one of the school's first Trident Scholars. Pilling's research dealt with the "abstractions of partially ordered systems". He later earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge with a dissertation entitled, "The Algebra of Operators for Regular Events." A prolific writer, Admiral Pilling published articles in mathematical and professional journals throughout his life.

A running joke in Navy circles was that when he dropped his briefcase, math journals and technical manuals were far more likely than routine paperwork to spill out of it.

Pilling once told a Senate committee that, "Accountability can be, must be, a severe standard. Without accountability, command loses credibility and authority. Without authority, command at sea becomes impossible."

It was often said of Pilling that he never forgot the needs of the warfighter. His primary concern while in Washington was "what the Navy really needs not just today, but for decades to come," noted a colleague. "This is a man who has been there; he knows what it means to be a warrior, and what it is that we need."

At his Navy retirement ceremony, then Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig said, "you have somebody whose intellect shapes and frames our experiences, someone whose qualities of fairness, and of judgment make for us a world in which we really trust one another in our decision making; someone who mentors other people in a warm and human way; so much a friend. That is Don Pilling."

Jul 1996
to
Jul 1998
VADM Charles S. Abbot
Yes
No
Jul 1998
to
Oct 2000
VADM Daniel J. Murphy, Jr.
Yes
No (See VADM Daniel J. Murphy, Sr.)
Oct 2000
to
Oct 2001
VADM Gregory G. Johnson
No
No
Oct 2001
to
Nov 2003
VADM Scott A. Fry
Yes
No
Nov 2003
to
20 May 2005
VADM Harry G. Ulrich III
Yes
No
20 May 2005
to
Sep 2007
VADM John "Boomer" Stufflebeem
Yes
No Born in Japan in 1952 while his father was stationed there in the Navy. Stufflebeem enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1969 as a deck seaman. He was accepted into the US Naval Academy in 1971, graduating in 1975. He was designated a Surface Warfare Officer in 1978 and Naval Aviator in 1980.

Stufflebeem served in various fighter squadrons and carrier air wing staffs in the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. He commanded Fighter Squadron Eighty-Four and Carrier Air Wing One during combat operations in the Balkans and Persian Gulf and Carrier Group Two/Task Force Sixty during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has flown over 4,000 hours in a variety of aircraft and has more than 1,000 carrier landings.

In addition Stufflebeem has served in staff assignments including Military Aide to President George H. W. Bush, Deputy Executive Assistant and later, Executive Assistant to the CNO.

His decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal (2).

On 20 May 05 at Naval Support Activity Naples, Stufflebeem was promoted to vice admiral and took command of the 6th Fleet, relieving VADM Harry Ulrich. He held this position until September 2007. 
(The above was extracted from Wikipedia)

Sep 2007
to
Aug 2008
RADM James A. Winnefeld, Jr.
No
No James Alexander "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr. currently serves as the ninth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Winnefeld graduated from Georgia Tech in 1978 with high honors in Aerospace Engineering and received his commission via the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

After designation as a naval aviator, he served with two fighter squadrons and went on to graduate with the highest distinction from the U.S. Naval War College off-campus program.

He most recently served concurrently as Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet; Commander, Allied Joint Command Lisbon; Commander, Striking and Support Forces NATO; Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; and Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander, Europe.

Aug 2008
to
Nov 2009
VADM Bruce W. Clingan
No
No VADM Clingan was born in Lafayette, IN and raised in Bellevue, WA. He is a graduate of the Univ. of Washington and received a MS degree from the Univ. of So. California. A member of the NROTC, he was commissioned in June 1977.

Clingan served as XO of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72), commanded the 6th Fleet flagship USS La Salle (AGF3) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN70). He also served as an F-14 Tomcat flight instructor at Fighter Squadron 124.

His decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit Award (4), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and two Navy Achievement Medals.

Nov 2009
to
03 Oct 2011
VADM Harry B. Harris, Jr.
Yes
-
Born in Yokosuka, Japan, and reared in Tennessee and Florida, VADM Harris graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978.

VADM Harris has logged 4400 flight hours, including over 400 combat hours. His decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal (3), the Legion of Merit (3), the Bronze Star Medal (2), the Meritorious Service Medal (4), the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (5), the Navy Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit decorations.

He served at the Pentagon as the deputy chief of Naval Operations for Communication Networks and the deputy Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer until Nov 2009.

03 Oct 2011
to
Present
VADM Frank C. Pandolfe
Yes
-
Vice Adm. Pandolfe grew up in New England, graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980.

He has served in USS David R. Ray (DD 971), USS John Hancock (DD 981), USS Hue City (CG 66), and USS Forrestal (CV 59).  He commanded USS Mitscher (DDG 57) from 1999 to 2001, Destroyer Squadron 18 from 2003 to 2004. From 2008 to 2009, he led Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group on a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Ashore, he was assigned to the Navy Staff as executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Joint Staff as deputy director for Strategy and Policy, and the White House Staff as military aide and advisor to the vice president of the United States.  Most recently, he served as director, Surface Warfare Division, OPNAV N86. In that role, he led efforts to introduce the Littoral Combat Ship to the fleet, build the Zumwalt Class destroyer, and restart the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyer line.

Hiss personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and additional individual, campaign, and unit awards.

In July 2011 then Rear Admiral Pandolfe was the guest speaker at the USS Little Rock Association annual banquet. Click HERE for a highlite from his speech.
Notes:
1. In the "USNA" column, "Yes" indicates that the subject graduated from the Naval Academy after completing the required course.
2. In the "USNA" column, "M" indicates that the subject was appointed as a Midshipman. Appointment date is shown if known.
3. In the CNO column, "Yes" indicates the subject was later selected as CNO (Chief of Naval Operations)

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