Fife, James, Jr., ADM

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1953-1955, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic /Mediterranean (CINCNELM/COMNELM)
Service Years
1918 - 1955

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Fife, James, Jr., ADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Reno, Nevada
Last Address
Stonington, Connecticut

Date of Passing
Nov 01, 1975
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 11, Site 195-2

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

US Navy Admiral. His military career spanned World Wars I and II, primarily serving in submarine duty. After graduating from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1918, he briefly served in World War I. During the period between World Wars I and II, he served aboard the submarines USS S-3 and USS R-22, and commanded the submarines USS N-7, USS R-19, and USS R-18. In addition to his service on submarines, he also served on the battleship USS Idaho and the destroyers USS Leary and USS Hatfield from 1923 until May 1935. When the US entered World War II in December 1941, he was serving as Chief of Staff of Submarine Squadron 20, part of the Asiatic Fleet, in the Philippine Islands. He then served as Chief of Staff to Admiral T.C. Hart until May 1942. About this time he and Captain J. E. Wilkes, his former squadron commander, were instrumental in identifying several deficiencies of the submarine force, especially the difficulties with the Mark 14 torpedo and the Hooven-Owens-Rentschler diesel engine. He later conducted some of the experiments that isolated the Mark 14 torpedo's defective components in cooperation with Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, then Commander, Submarines, Southwest Pacific. In late 1942 he served with General Douglas MacArthur as the representative of Admiral A.S. Carpender during the Buna campaign in New Guinea, followed by the commander of the submarines of Task Force 42 (later Task Force 72) in Brisbane, Australia, where he planned and directed his submarines' missions. In 1944 he returned to the US to serve as a war planner on the staff of the Commander in Chief, US Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King in Washington DC. At the close of 1944, he returned to Australia as Commander, Submarines, Seventh Fleet, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Western Australia, and Commander Task Force 71. From April 1947 until 1950, he commanded the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, followed by duty as Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Operations), Washington DC. His final assignment was as the US Naval Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, under British Admiral Louis Mountbatten of the Royal Navy, and he retired in that position in August 1955, with 37 years of continuous military service. Among his military decorations and awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with two gold stars, the Air Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. He was then promoted to the rank of admiral on the retired list for having been especially commended in combat in accordance with an Act of Congress passed on March 4, 1925 and February 23, 1942 (colloquially known as a "tombstone promotion"). After his military retirement, he served as the Director of Mystic Seaport museum in Stonington, Connecticut. He died in Stonington, Connecticut at the age of 78. Fife Hall, a navigation training facility at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut is named in his honor, as well as the destroyer USS Fife, commissioned in May 1980 and decommissioned in 2003.

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Not Specified
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 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge

 Duty Stations
US NavySubmarine School Officers BasicUSS Leary (DD-158)COMSUBRON 20, COMSUBGRU 10
  1918-1918, USS Tacoma (CL-20)
  1918-1919, USS Chicago (CA-14)
  1919-1919, Submarine School Officers Basic
  1919-1920, USS S-3 (SS-107)
  1922-1923, USS R-18 (SS-95)
  1923-1923, USS Idaho (BB-24)
  1923-1924, USS Leary (DD-158)
  1924-1925, USS Hatfield (DD-231)
  1939-1941, COMSUBRON 20, COMSUBGRU 10
  1941-1942, COMSUBRON 2, COMSUBGRU 2
  1942-1943, Commander Submarines, Southwest Pacific
  1943-1943, COMSEVENTHFLT
  1943-1944, Commander Submarines, Southwest Pacific
  1944-1944, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (CINCUS)
  1944-1945, Commander Submarines, Southwest Pacific
  1945-1947, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1950-1953, CNO - OPNAV
  1953-1955, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic /Mediterranean (CINCNELM/COMNELM)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/Japanese air attacks on US vessels in Cavite
  1941-1941 USS Sealion (SS-195)
  1941-1941 Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/USS Canopus (AS-9)
  1942-1942 Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/By SS Sea Dragon from Corregidor PI
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1914-1918, United States Naval Academy
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