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Leahy, William Daniel

    Date of birth:
    May 6th, 1875 (Hampton/Iowa, United States)
    Date of death:
    July 19th, 1959 (Bethesda/Maryland, United States)
    Buried on:
    Arlington National Cemetery
    Nationality:
    American (1776 - present, Republic)

    Biography

    Promotions:
    1897: Midshipman;
    July 1st, 1899: Ensign;
    July 1st, 1902: Lieutenant Junior Grade;
    December 31st, 1903: Lieutenant;
    September 15th, 1909: Lieutenant Commander;
    August 29th, 1916: Commander;
    July 1st, 1918: Captain;
    October 14th, 1927: Rear Admiral;
    July 13th, 1935: Vice Admiral;
    January 2nd, 1937: Admiral;
    December 15th, 1944: Fleet Admiral.

    Career:
    ? - 1897: United States Naval Academy;
    ?: USS Oregon;
    ?: USS Castine;
    ?: USS GLacier;
    ?:Commanding Officer USS Mariveles;
    ?: USS Pensacola;
    ?: USS Tacoma;
    ?: USS Boston;
    1907: Instructor, Department of Physics and Chemistry, Naval Academy;
    ?: Navigator USS California;
    October 18th, 1911: Naval Aide to President William Howard Taft;
    1912: Chief of Staff, Commander, Naval Forces Nicaragua;
    1912: Assistant Director, Gunnery Exercises and Engineering;
    Competitions;
    1913 - 1915: Detail Officer Bureau of Navigation;
    1915: Commanding Officer USS Dolphin;
    ?: Senior Aide, Staff of Commander Squadron Three, Patrol Force, Atlantic Fleet;
    1917: Executive Officer USS Nevada;
    April 1918: Commanding Officer USS Princess Matoika;
    1918: Director Gunnery Exercises and Engineering Competition, Navy Department;
    ?: Senior Member, Fire Control Board;
    1921: Commanding Officer USS St. Louis;
    1921: Commanding Officer Mine Squadron One;
    1922: Commanding Officer Control Force;
    1923 - 1926: Director, Officer Personnel, Bureau of Navigation;
    ?: Commanding Officer USS New Mexico;
    1927: Chief Bureau of Ordnance;
    1931: Commanding Officer Destroyers Scouting Force;
    1933: Chief Bureau of Navigation;
    ?: Commanding Officer Battleships Battle Force;
    1936: Commander in Chief Battle Force;
    January 1937 - August 1939: Chief of Naval Operations;
    September 1939 - November 1940: Governor of Puerto Rico;
    November 1940 - May 1942: Ambassador to France;
    July 6th, 1942 - March 1949: Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief;
    ? - March 1949: Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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    Period:
    First World War (1914-1918)
    Rank:
    Captain
    Unit:
    U.S.S. Princess Matoika (ID-2290, U.S. Navy
    "For distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PRINCESS MATOIKA, engaged in the important, exacting and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines during World War I."
    Navy Cross
    Rank:
    Admiral
    Unit:
    Chief of Naval Operations, HQ, U.S. Navy
    "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States. As Chief of Naval Operations from January 1937 to August 1939, he was charged with the responsibility for the planning and administration of the U.S. Navy during a period when the greatest peace time expansion in its history was reaching its peak. The continuous and uninterrupted reliance placed upon his advice and counsel by the Secretary of the Navy, by the Congress and by the President was demonstrated by measures both executive and legislative, the value of which are clearly evidenced in the present high state of readiness and efficiency of the United States Fleet and of the entire Naval Establishment. The extraordinary qualities of leadership and administrative ability that have marked his tenure as the highest ranking officer in the Navy have been exemplified throughout his entire Naval career."
    Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Admiral
    Awarded on:
    July 18th, 1942
    "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief Army and Navy of the United States, and concurrently as Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Recalled to active duty on 18 July 1942, during the most dangerous crisis in the history of our country, Fleet Admiral Leahy brought to his task a wealth of experience, vision and decisive judgment in evaluating conflicting world events. Uniquely qualified by his previous distinguished service both in the Navy and in international affairs, he fully justified the unquestioning reliance placed in his wise counsel in the concept of long range strategy against the Axis Powers and his astute appraisal of over-all plans for the complete coordination of the United States and all Allied military and naval forces. Influencing to a large extent the measures for increased offensive as the changing situations of war indicated, Fleet Admiral Leahy, by his leadership, his faith in the rightness of his country's mission and his confidence in the ability of our forces to halt the enemy's aggression, played a vital part in the victory achieved. His service to the Commander-in-Chief and to the Nation climaxed a brilliant and long career in the Navy, reflecting the highest credit upon Fleet Admiral Leahy and enhancing the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
    Second Navy DSM awarded as a Gold Star for on the ribbon of the first Navy DSM.
    Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Admiral
    "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States and concurrently as Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1 February 1946 to 20 January 1949. Eminently qualified by his experience in military affairs, administrative ability, and successful statesmanship as governor and ambassador in the field of government and international affairs, Fleet Admiral Leahy, by his deep wisdom and judgment, contributed in great measure to the successful prosecution of a war of magnitude unprecedented in the history of the world. His supreme loyalty to his country and his appreciation of its place in world affairs, supplemented by his fundamental concern in the welfare of humanity as a whole, transcended his already vast knowledge of military affairs to culminate in statesmanship beyond that required of any Naval officer in our history. A champion of democracy and respecter of sovereignty, defender of independence, and humanitarian in his recognition of peoples' needs and rights, the great accomplishments attained in consequence of Fleet Admiral Leahy's guidance bring to him unparalleled distinction. His service to the Commander in Chief, the Nation and humanity, exemplary in its brilliance and accomplishment, reflects the highest credit upon Fleet Admiral Leahy and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
    Third Navy DSM awarded as secons Gold Star for on the ribbon of the first Navy DSM.
    Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Fleet Admiral (Admiral of the Fleet)
    Unit:
    U.S. Navy
    Awarded on:
    December 2nd, 1946
    Ridder Grootkruis in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (ON.1)
    Royal decree no.2

    Sources

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