Raborn, William Francis, Jr., VADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1962-1963, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, CNO - OPNAV
Service Years
1928 - 1963
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 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 Raborn, William Francis, Jr., VADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Decatur, TX
Last Address
McLean, VA

Date of Passing
Mar 07, 1990
Location of Interment
United States Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

VADM Raborn led the development of the Polaris nuclear missile while working in the Fleet ballistic Missile Program. After his retirement from the Navy, he was chosen to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency where he served from April 1965 until June 1966.
Other Comments:

Navy Distiguished Service Medal
Awarded for Actions During Cold War
Service: Navy
General Orders: Board Serial 704 (
August 5, 1960)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral William F. Raborn, Jr. (NSN: 0-62102/1310), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States from 2 December 1955 to 20 July 1960. In late 1955, Rear Admiral Raborn was charged with the task of developing a Fleet Ballistic Missile System. Exhibiting outstanding organizational ability and technical competence, he established the Special Projects Office, Department of the Navy, and directed his attention to the inauguration of definitive management methods which would provide not only the necessary degree of control but insure that expenditures would be in accord with budgetary considerations as well as the urgency of the program. He established a single yet forceful management system which encompassed all elements of his responsibility, implementing a totally new management tool - the Progress Evaluation Reporting Technique. The widespread adoption of this method of evaluating the progress of a complex research and development program by large sections of American industry reflects his keen perception and resourcefulness. Rear Admiral Raborn's dynamic leadership, enthusiasm and initiative were the motivating factors in the successful accomplishment of this important task when, on 20 July 1960, the U.S.S. GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN-598) proved the operational readiness of Fleet Ballistic Missile System by launching two POLARIS missiles from the ocean depths. This deterrent signaled an historic contribution to the military strength of the
United States and attested to Rear Admiral Raborn's extraordinary executive methods by bringing the Fleet Ballistic Missile System into being in the short period of three and one-half years. His outstanding professional ability, leadership, and inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
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 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS Texas (BB-35)US NavyNAS PensacolaUSS Saratoga (CV-3)
USS Ranger (CV-4)VS-10USS Portland (CA-33)CNO - OPNAV
USS Hancock (CV-19)Bureau of OrdnanceUSS Bairoko (CVE-115)USS Bennington (CVA-20)
  1928-1929, USS Texas (BB-35)
  1930-1932, USS Twiggs (DD-127)
  1932-1933, USS Dickerson (DD-157)
  1933-1934, NAS Pensacola
  1934-1935, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1935-1936, USS Ranger (CV-4)
  1936-1936, VS-11
  1936-1937, VS-10
  1936-1937, USS Portland (CA-33)
  1937-1939, NAS Pensacola
  1940-1943, Fleet Air Wing 1
  1943-1944, CNO - OPNAV
  1944-1945, USS Hancock (CV-19)
  1949-1950, Bureau of Ordnance
  1950-1951, USS Bairoko (CVE-115)
  1954-1955, USS Bennington (CVA-20)
  1955-1962, Bureau of Naval Weapons Special Projects Office
  1962-1963, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, CNO - OPNAV
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor/Japanese Air Raid on NAS Kaneohe Bay
  1944-1944 World War II/China-Burma-India Theater/China Defensive Campaign (1942-45)
  1944-1944 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Surrender of Japan, End of WWII
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Spring Offensive (1951)
  1951-1951 Korean War/UN Summer-Fall Offensive (1951)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval War College
  1924-1928, United States Naval Academy
  1951-1952, Naval War College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Raborn Hall - Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base
  Jun 07, 1931, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  May 15, 1937, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jun 30, 1937, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Sep 15, 1942, Promoted to Commander
  Mar 25, 1945, Promoted to Captain
  May 01, 1956, Promoted to Rear Admiral
  Apr 01, 1960, Retired
  Apr 01, 1960, Promoted to Vice Admiral
  Jun 15, 1961, Awarded the Robert J. Collier Trophy for the year 19602
  Aug 17, 1966, Presented the National Security Medal by LBJ
  Mar 07, 1990, Death of Vice Admiral William Raborn, Jr.
  Mar 28, 2019, General Photos1
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