Wilkinson, Eugene Parks, VADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Primary Unit
1972-1974, CNO - OPNAV/Submarine Warfare Division (OPNAV N87)
Service Years
1940 - 1974
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Panama Canal
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

18 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cory Butterfield, AO1 to remember Wilkinson, Eugene Parks, VADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Long Beach, CA
Last Address
Del Mar, CA

Date of Passing
Jul 11, 2013
Location of Interment
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Z C-864C

 Official Badges 

Order of the Sacred Treasure

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2019, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Eugene Wilkinson was born August 10, 1918, in Long Beach, the youngest of two to Dennis Wilkinson and Daisy Parks.  Orphaned at a young age after his father was killed in a car accident and his mother died from a sudden illness, he was raised by his grandparents, Dennis and Lillian Wilkinson, who ran a creamery in Holtville.  Graduating with a degree in physics and chemistry in 1938 from what was then San Diego State College, he taught chemistry and mathematics there for two years before receiving his Navy commission in December 1940.

Joining then-Captain Hyman G. Rickover at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April 1948 after passing one of the first of Rickover's many such interviews, the mathematically-gifted Wilkinson "ultimately developed the nuclear physics equations and formulas for the team...and for the final reactor design" of the prototype reactor for USS Nautilus (SSN-571).

At 1100 on
January 17, 1955, after getting the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) underway, Commander Wilkinson signaled "Underway on Nuclear Power." This historic message ushered in the nuclear age for the United States Navy, as well as the world. Wilkinson was the first commanding officer in a nuclear fleet that would eventually cover most of the aircraft carriers, several cruisers, and the entire submarine fleet for the United States Navy.

After retiring from the Navy, he received the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award (1976), the George Washington Gold Medal of the American Society of Engineers (1983), the Oliver Townsend Medal (1984), the Uranium Institute Gold Medal (1989), elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1990), the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award (1994), and the Walter H. Zinn Award from the American Nuclear Society (1998). In 1980 he was chosen as the first President and CEO of the newly formed Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) from which he retired in 1984.

Retired VADM Wilkinson died of natural causes July 11 at his
Del Mar home.  He was 94.
Other Comments:

Submarine war patrols:
USS Blackfish (SS221) - 1st through 4th
USS Darter (SS-277) - 1st through 4th
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge - 7 Patrols

 Duty Stations
US NavyNAVSUBASE New London/GrotonUSS Blackfish (SS-221)USS Darter (SS-227)
USS Menhaden (SS-377)USS Raton (SS-270)USS Cusk (SS-348)USS Volador (SS-490)
USS Sea Robin (SS-407)USS Wahoo (SS-565)USS Nautilus (SSN-571)USS Long Beach (CGN-9)
CNO - OPNAVUnited States Forces Japan (USFJ)COMNAVSUBFOR/Commander Submarine Force (COMSUBFOR)Commander Submarine Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet
CNO - OPNAV/Submarine Warfare Division (OPNAV N87)
  1940-1941, USS Louisville (CA-28)
  1941-1942, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1942-1942, USS R-10 (SS-87)
  1942-1943, USS Blackfish (SS-221)
  1943-1944, USS Darter (SS-227)
  1945-1945, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1945-1945, USS Menhaden (SS-377)
  1945-1946, USS Raton (SS-270)
  1947-1948, USS Cusk (SS-348)
  1950-1952, USS Volador (SS-490)
  1952-1952, USS Sea Robin (SS-407)
  1952-1952, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) ME
  1952-1953, USS Wahoo (SS-565)
  1954-1957, USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
  1959-1963, USS Long Beach (CGN-9)
  1963-1969, CNO - OPNAV/Director Submarine Warfare
  1966-1969, United States Forces Japan (USFJ)
  1969-1972, COMNAVSUBFOR/Commander Submarine Force (COMSUBFOR)
  1970-1972, Commander Submarine Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet
  1972-1974, CNO - OPNAV/Submarine Warfare Division (OPNAV N87)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Surigao Strait
  1951-1951 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
San Diego State UniversityUniversity of Southern CaliforniaNaval War College
  1934-1938, San Diego State University
  1938-1939, University of Southern California
  1957-1958, Naval War College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Dec 12, 1940, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 01, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Dec 01, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jul 20, 1945, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jan 01, 1951, Promoted to Commander
  Nov 01, 1956, Promoted to Captain
  Jul 01, 1964, Promoted to Rear Admiral
  Mar 12, 1970, Promoted to Vice Admiral
  Jan 01, 1974, Retired
  Mar 30, 2019, General Photos
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