U.S.S. Little Rock
Commanding Officer Biography

Page last updated: 11 June, 2020
Captain Gordon R. Nagler

11 Jun 71 - 27 Jul 72

Nagler Photo


Captain Gordon Richard NAGLER, USN, was born on 24 June 1925 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Duke University and received his commission as an Ensign from Northwestern Midshipman School in July, 1945.

Captain NAGLER's sea duty tours have included command of USS JOSEPHUS DANIELS (DLG-27), USS MULLINIX (DD-944), USS FORSTER (DER-334), USS PEREGRINE (MSF-373), and USS PC 581. On 11 June, 1971 Captain NAGLER assumed command of the light guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock CLG 4.

He has served as Executive Officer, USS PHILIP (DD-498), Communications and ASW Officer, USS McCAFFERY (DD-860).

As First Lieutenant, USS MERRICK (AKA97), in 1946 he participated in Admiral Richard E. Byrd's expedition to Antarctica. Later he served aboard one of the last Navy ships to operate out of Tsingtao, China, before the Communist takeover.

From 1974 to 1976, Admiral Nagler was commander of Naval telecommunications on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Captain NAGLER served ashore on the Staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Commander Mine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In addition, he has attended the following schools: the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; the Armed Forces Staff College; U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Command Communications; and the General Line School, Newport, R.I.

His decorations included a Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Gold Star, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and the Joint Services Commendation Medal.

Admiral Nagler retired from the Navy in 1984 after having served four years as director of command and control on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

After retiring from the Navy, Adm. Nagler became vice president of Washington operations for Harris Corp., an electronics and government systems communications firm.

He retired from civilian employment in 1995.

His wife of 47 years, Nannette, died in 1994.

Gordon Richard Nagler, 73 died of a heart attack July 11, 1998 at his home in Alexandria, VA.

Survivors include two sons, James Nagler of Fredericksburg, Va., and Richard Nagler of Manassas; and four grandchildren.




On July 11, 1998; husband of the late Nannette Nagler. He is survived by his two sons, James of Fredericksburg, VA and Richard of Manassas, VA; a daughter-in-law, Mary; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Also survived by his sister, Lois Wolfe of Honolulu, HI. A service will be held on July 24 at 9 a.m. at the Old Post Chapel, Ft. Myer, VA followed by interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Hemophilia Federation, 909 Beaujolais Pkwy., Maurice, LA 70555.

DATE OF BIRTH: June 24, 1925
DATE OF DEATH: July 11, 1998

DATE OF BIRTH: June 22, 1923
DATE OF DEATH: Oct. 15, 1994



......At one time the Navy considered a super hard ELF system (SHELF) buried a mile underground in mineshaft-type tunnels so as to be extremely survivable. Vice Admiral Gordon R. Nagler, then Director of Command and Control for the Navy, said burying SHELF two miles underground was considered.  SHELF's transmitter and self-contained power unit would also be underground. Several hundred thousand dollars was spent looking into SHELF and research was known to be in progress as late as 1978.


From : "How the U.S.S. Little Rock came to be at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval  & Military Park” (Click HERE to read this article.)

By CDR John E. Conjura, USN-Retired Little Rock Communications Officer 1969-1972

"As two retired Navy warships towered in the background, Buffalo's civic leaders, along with Navy officials, and a crowd of 3,000 gathered near the foot of Main St. at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, 17 July 1977, to dedicate the city's new Naval and Servicemen 's Park. Congressman Henry J. Nowak, 37th Congressional District, announced that $1.4 million in federal funds had been approved by the U.S. Economic Development Administration for developing the Park. The principal Navy speaker was Rear Admiral Gordon R. Nagler, USN, Deputy Director, Command and Control and Communications (C3) Programs, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-094B) and former Little Rock Commanding Officer 1971-1972...."


USS Forster (DER-334)

Commander Gordon R. Nagler (left) and Admiral John H. Sides examine the the Arleigh Burke Fleet
Trophy plaque,
during ceremonies in which the ship received the award, 19 September 1962.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #
NH 55887

Crew Remembrances & Anecdotes
(Add yours..... Contact Art Tilley)
Received 15 Jan 09 from Jim Griffin HM2, 71-72
I was on the USS Little Rock from 1971-72..  I worked in the Medical department back then and remember that Capt. Nagler stopped by often to see what was going on.  I had many conversations with him.  From those conversations I learned that Capt. Nagler was a very decent guy  that really cared about his crew.  For instance, I remember him taking a vote one time just to see what ports the crew wanted to layover in.  Also, and with his help, the crew was able to acquire a couple of VW buses that were used to move the crew around while ashore on liberty. 
As I remember, back in 1972 Capt. Nagler didn't think that he would make Admiral, and thought the USS Little Rock would be his last duty station.  With that in mind, the ship's crew enjoyed many extended stays in some very nice ports.  A good time was had by all during Captain Nagler's command! 
Jim Griffin

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