Akers, Frank P., RADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1960-1963, 131X, 12th Naval District
Service Years
1918 - 1963
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Tennessee
Tennessee
Year of Birth
1901
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Larry Sekishiro, CS2 to remember Akers, Frank P., RADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Nashville, TN
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Mar 22, 1988
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 30, Site 790 RH

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
1901-1988. His stone in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery reads:

"Aviator, patriot, gentleman. Faithfully served his country from 1918 to 1963. Test pilot, instrument landing at sea, 1935. Carrier commander, World War II. The Navy's Grey Eagle." 

His wife, Bayless House Akers (1903-1988) is buried with him. MAY 1, 1934
Lieutenant Frank Akers made a hooded landing in an OJ-2 at College Park, Maryland, in the first demonstration of the blind landing system intended for carrier use and under development by the Washington Institute of Technology.


Rear Admiral Akers was commissioned an Ensign in the Class of 1922. He was assigned to the USS Sumner which operated in the Pacific Ocean. The following year, as the Engineering Officer of this destroyer, he won the "E" for Engineering Excellence and was commended by the Secretary of the Navy.

On September 11, 1925, he received the Navy "Wings of Gold". As a naval aviator, he was ordered to an aircraft squadron with the Battle Fleet. In 1928, he returned to Pensacola, Florida, as Instructor in Command of all Fighter Training.

In 1931, Lieutenant Frank Akers, was a student of electronics at the Postgraduate School in Annapolis, Maryland. He continued studying at Harvard Graduate School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was here that he received his Master of Science Degree in Electronic Communications in 1933.

As Flight Test Officer and Project Officer for Instrument Flying Development at the Naval Air Station in San Diego, California, Lieutenant Akers participated in an unusually hazardous experiment on July 30, 1935. He was told that the nation's first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, was somewhere at sea approximately 150 miles away. It was his job to locate the carrier and land aboard it using only instruments. The aircraft was fitted with a special hood preventing visual contact with the outside world. He chalked up another Navy "first" when the plane touched down on the carrier deck and caught the Number 4 arresting wire. This was a feat that earned him the distinguished Flying Cross.

During 1942, he served as Navigator of the USS Hornet. He participated in the famed Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and the Battle of the Midway. Later, back in Washington as head of the Radio and Electrical Branch of the Bureau of
Aeronautics, he received the Legion of Merit for his part in developing more efficient and simplified aircraft electronic systems, including radar bombing.

As Commanding Officer of the USS Saratoga in 1945-1946, he amassed a new world's record - 642 carrier landing in a single day. Upon completion of the Pacific War, the Saratoga returned more men to the United States than any other
ship.

In keeping with the unique and varied career of Rear Admiral Akers, he has commanded aircraft carrier divisions in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He is the only aviator ever to have been assigned as Assistant Chief of Naval
Operations for Undersea Warfare. In addition, he commanded the Naval Air Technical Training Command in Memphis, Tennessee, and served as senior Naval Member of the Weapons System Evaluations Board in the Pentagon.

On January 11, 1962, at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California, Rear Admiral Akers was presented the Gray Eagle Trophy honoring him as the Naval Aviator who has been flying longer than any other on active duty. Rear Admiral Akers' son had an excellent quote about his father: "His life was built on the pursuit of excellence, coupled with a fierce determination to be the very best at anything, big or small. He was always a fine gentlemen who respected others."


   
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1918, US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD)
 Duty Stations
US NavyUSS Langley (CV-1)USS Lexington (CV-2)NAS Pensacola
NAS AnacostiaUSS Hornet (CV-8)USS Saratoga (CV-3)Carrier Division 5 (COMCARDIV 5)
COMNAVAIRLANTCNO - OPNAVOffice of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1922-1925, 000X, USS Sumner (DD-333)
  1926-1926, 000X, USS Nevada (BB-36)
  1926-1927, 000X, USS Langley (CV-1)
  1927-1928, 000X, USS Lexington (CV-2)
  1928-1931, 000X, NAS Pensacola
  1933-1934, 000X, NAS Anacostia
  1934-1936, 000X, USS Langley (CV-1)
  1937-1939, 000X, Bureau of Engineering
  1941-1942, 000X, USS Hornet (CV-8)
  1942-1945, 000X, Bureau of Aeronautics
  1945-1946, 000X, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1946-1946, 000X, Carrier Division 5 (COMCARDIV 5)
  1946-1948, 000X, Bureau of Aeronautics
  1948-1950, 000X, Carrier Division 15 (COMCARDIV 15)
  1950-1951, 000X, COMNAVAIRLANT
  1951-1954, 000X, CNO - OPNAV
  1954-1955, 000X, Carrier Division 2 (COMCARDIV 2)
  1955-1955, 000X, Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1955-1958, 131X, Chief of Naval Air Technical Training (CNATECHTRA)
  1958-1960, 131X, COMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean
  1960-1963, 131X, 12th Naval District
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Pacific Air Offensive (1942-45)/Doolittle B-25 Attack on Tokyo
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyHarvard University
  1918-1922, United States Naval Academy
  1931-1933, Harvard University
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