FORD, Walter, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1954-1961, US Merchant Marine (USMM)
Service Years
1925 - 1961
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

117 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
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Contact Info
Home Town
Buffalo NY
Last Address
USNA Cemetery

Date of Passing
Nov 20, 1999
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff US Merchant Marine Service US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rear Admiral Walter C. Ford

WWII Destroyer Commander in Combat
OSS/CIA/Navy and Maritime Administration

Rear Admiral Walter Chilcott Ford, 96, a destroyer commander in World War II and the executive director of the newborn Central Intelligence Agency in the later 1940's, died on Saturday at the Mariner Health facility in Bethesda, Md. He lived in Annapolis.

Admiral Ford spent 40 years in the Navy and the Maritime Administration. After his retirement in 1961, he worked as a maritime consultant and corporate director. 

Born in Buffalo, Walter Ford graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1925. He reached the rank of captain by the end of WWII and Rear Admiral in 1947. 

Serving in the South Pacific, he commanded the U.S.S. Perkins and Destroyer Squadron 23 and saw combat in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign. His conduct at the Coral Sea earned him a Bronze Star, and his night operations against Japanese forces at Guadalcanal brought a Silver Star and assignment as administrative aide to the under secretary of the Navy. 

In 1947, Congress decreed the transformation of Gen. William J. Donovan's Office of Strategic Services into the C.I.A. Admiral Ford was named its executive director and served until 1949, after which he was assistant naval chief of staff for intelligence in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean command. 

He transferred to the Maritime Administration in 1954 and served intermittently as deputy and acting administrator until his retirement. He instituted various shipping programs, encouraged research and oversaw the construction of the country's first nuclear merchantship, the Savannah. 

Admiral Ford is survived by a daughter, Barbara Rosin of Columbia, S.C.; 9 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren. His wife of 66 years, Channez Gates Ford, died in 1992.
Other Comments:
Jul 26 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, FBI, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The act forbade the CIA from operating within the US. The CIA was transformed from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), founded by Gen. William Donovan (1941), and was led by Adm. Walter Chilcott Ford (d.1999 at 96) until 1949.

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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUnder Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV), Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
<B>US Merchant Marine (USMM)</b>
  1941-1943, USS Perkins (DD-377)
  1943-1945, Under Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV), Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
  1945-1946, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1947-1949, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  1950-1952, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic /Mediterranean (CINCNELM/COMNELM)
  1954-1961, US Merchant Marine (USMM)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings
  1942-1942 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Tassafaronga (Fourth Savo)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1921-1925, United States Naval Academy
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