USS Halsey
Hit Hard * Hit Fast * Hit Often
Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey

William Frederick Halsey, Jr., was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on October 30, 1882, the son of the late Captain William F. Halsey, U. S. Navy. As a Navy junior, he made the usual round of schools prior to his appointment to the Naval Academy. President McKinley gave him an appointment in 1900.

While at the Naval Academy he distinguished himself in class committees and athletics, but not in scholarship. He was a member of the "Lucky Bag" yearbook staff, won his letter in football as a fullback and was president of the Athletic Association. As a First Classman, he had his name engraved on the Thompson Trophy Cup as the Midshipman who had done the most during the year for the promotion of athletics.

Upon graduation in February 1904, he was assigned to USS Missouri and later transferred to USS Don Juan de Austria in which he was commissioned an Ensign after having completed the two years at sea -- then required by law. In 1907, he joined USS Kansas and made the famous World Cruise of the Fleet in that battle ship.

For the next almost 25 years practically all his sea duty with the Fleet was in destroyers, starting in 1909 with command of USS DuPont (TB-7 commissioned in 1897), USS Lamson, USS Flusser and USS Jarvis. In 1915 he went ashore for two years of duty in the Executive Department at the Naval Academy.

During WWI he served in the Queenstown Destroyer Force in command of USS Benham and USS Shaw. From 1918 to 1921 he continued his destroyer service in command of USS Yarnell, USS Chauncey, USS John Francis Burnes and Destroyer Division Thirty-two. In October of 1920 he assumed command of USS Wickes and of Destroyer Division Fifteen. At that time a destroyer division commander also commanded the division flagship. Another shore cruise sent him to duty in the Office of Naval Intelligence, in Washington, -- which was his only duty assignment in that city. In October 1922, he was ordered as Naval Attache at the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany. One year later, he was given additional duty as Naval Attache at the American Embassies in Christiana, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Stockholm, Sweden.

On completion of that cruise he returned to sea duty, again in the destroyers in European waters, in command of USS Dale and USS Osborne. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1927, he served one year as Executive Officer of the battleship USS Wyoming -- and then for three years in command of USS Reina Mercedes, station ship at the Naval Academy. He continued his destroyer duty on his next two-years at cruise starting in 1930 as Commander Destroyer Division Three of the Scouting Force. In 1932 he went as a student to the Naval War College.

Then in 1934, he embarked on his aviation career when he reported to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola for flight training. He was designated a Naval Aviator on 15 May 1935, and went in command of the carrier USS Saratoga for two years, followed by one year in command of the Naval Air Station, Pensacola. In 1938, when he reached flag rank, he held successive commands of Carrier Division Two in USS Yorktown and Carrier Division One in Saratoga. In 1940, he became Commander Aircraft Battle Force with the rank of Vice Admiral. He was in USS Enterprise in that command when World War II broke out. In April 1942 he was designated Commander Task Force Sixteen, in Enterprise to escort the carrier USS Hornet to within 800 miles of Tokyo to launch the Army planes for the initial bombing of Japan.

In October 1942 he was made Commander South Pacific Forces and South Pacific Area. With the rank of Admiral, and for the next 18 months he was in command of that area during the offensive operations of the U. S. Forces. In June 1944 he assumed command of the Third Fleet, and was designated Commander Western Pacific Task Forces. As such, he operated successfully against the Japanese in the Palaies, Philippines, Formosa, Okinawa and South China Sea. Subsequent to the Okinawa campaign in July 1945, his forces struck at Tokyo and the Japanese mainland. The last attack of his forces was on 13 August 1945. Admiral Halsey's flag was flying on USS Missouri on 2 September in Tokyo Bay, the day the formal Japanese surrender was signed onboard. The flags of Fleet Admiral Nimitz, a blue flag with five stars, and General MacArthur, a red flag with five stars, were broken as they came aboard. Admiral Halsey's flag was hauled down at the time Admiral Nimitz's flag was broken.

Immediately thereafter, 54 ships of the Third Fleet, with his four-star flag in USS South Dakota, returned to the United States for annual Navy Day Celebrations in San Francisco on 27 October 1945. He hauled down his flag in November of that year and was assigned special duty in the office of the Secretary of the Navy. On December 11, 1945, he took the oath as Fleet Admiral becoming the fourth and last officer to hold the rank.

Later, Fleet Admiral Halsey made a goodwill flying trip through Central and South America covering nearly 28,000 miles, and 11 nations. He was relieved of active duty in December 1946, and upon his own request transferred to the retired list on 1 March 1947. Upon retirement, he joined the board of two subsidiaries of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company and served until 1957. He was active in an unsuccessful effort to preserve the USS Enterprise as a national shrine, and was an elected Honorary Vice President of the Naval Historical Foundation.

He died on 16 August 1959 at Fishers Island Country Club.

Graduated from Naval Academy - Class of 1904
Ensign - February 2, 1906
Lieutenant (junior grade) - February 2, 1909
Lieutenant - February 2, 1909
Lieutenant Commander - August 29, 1916
Commander - February 1, 1918
Captain - February 10, 1927
Rear Admiral - March 1, 1938
Vice Admiral - June 13, 1940
Admiral - November 18, 1942
Fleet Admiral - December 11, 1945

Navy Cross
Distinguished Service Medal with three gold stars
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Mexican Service Medal
Victory Medal, Destroyer Clasp
American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Philippine Liberation Medal


 USS Halsey (DLG/CG 23)

USS Halsey (DLG 23)
USS HALSEY (DLG 23) was launched a guided missile frigate on 15 January 1962 at San Francisco Naval Shipyard. The ship’s sponsors were Mrs. Margaret Denham and Miss Jane Halsey, granddaughters of the late Fleet Admiral. On 20 July 1963, USS HALSEY (DLG 23) was commissioned into service. Captain H. H. Anderson, USN, assumed command. The ceremonies included a eulogy by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, on Fleet Admiral Halsey's illustrious career.

HALSEY departed San Francisco on 25 November 1963 for Dabob Bay and Carr Island to conduct ASW system alignment tests and acoustical noise surveys until 7 December. She arrived at her home port of San Diego on 11 December 1963.

HALSEY was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 7, Destroyer Division 71 on 13 December 1963, and participated in a special sea power demonstration for the Secretary of the Navy, acting as screen commander from 15-18 December 1963. She conducted her weapons qualification trials from 15 January to 14 February 1964, and fired her first missiles on the Pacific Missile Range on 10 February 1964.

After a shakedown cruise from 16 March to 1 May, she returned to the San Francisco Naval Shipyard on 15 May 1964; and concluded her post-shakedown on 17 July 1964. During her first years of active service, HALSEY experimented with a unique system of internal organization, combining all the aspects of the weapons systems and CIC under a combat officer; and separate hull and communications administration departments.

In 1966, HALSEY was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 7, Destroyer Division 71, in the Pacific Fleet. On 2 July, she left San Diego for Subic Bay, Philippines. By August, she was conducting air-sea rescue and ASW operations in the South China Sea. During this period, HALSEY rescued some 16 airmen in two cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin. On 5 December, the frigate departed Yokosuka, Japan, for the West Coast, arriving San Diego 21 December 1966.

Commanding Officers





Captain H.H. Anderson
Captain G.W. Ringenburg
Captain J.J. LeBourgeois
Captain V.L. Murtha
Captain W.E. Harper, JR.
Captain J.A. Hooper
Captain J.D. Nolan
Captain W.F. McCauley
Captain S.J. Hostettler
Captain R.R. Tarbuck
Captain R.L. Wyatt
Captain P.D. Moses
Captain D.R. Conley
Captain R.D. Pacek
Captain G.A. Klein III
Captain L.P. Amborn


20 Jul 63 - 07 Oct 64
07 Oct 64 - 10 Sep 65
10 Sep 65 - 06 Jul 67
06 Jul 67 - 14 Oct 68
14 Oct 68 - 10 Dec 69
10 Dec 69 - 04 Nov 71
16 Dec 72 - 22 Nov 74
22 Nov 74 - 18 Mar 77
18 Mar 77 - 19 May 79
19 May 79 - 12 May 81
12 May 81 - 27 May 83
27 May 83 - 29 Aug 85
29 Aug 85 - 08 Jan 88
08 Jan 88 - 13 Sep 89
13 Sep 89 - 02 Apr 92
02 Apr 92 - 28 Jan 94
DDG 97
Commander J. L. Autrey
Commander J. Pinckney
Commander P. J. Schlise
Commander R. E. Beauchamp


31 Jan 05 - 18 May 06
18 May 06 - 01 Feb 07
19 Feb 07 - 17 Aug 08
17 Aug 08 - 05 Mar 10

 Click here for most recent Commanding Officers 


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