Frankel, Samuel, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
163X-Special Duty Officer - Intelligence
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1960-1964, Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI), CNO - OPNAV
Service Years
1929 - 1964
Foreign Language(s)
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Contact Info
Home Town
New York City
Last Address
Born in: Cincinnati, Ohio
Raised in New York City

Date of Passing
Sep 11, 1996
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity


Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)

FRANKEL, SAMUEL BENJAMIN (1905-1996), U.S. naval officer. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Frankel graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929. He served on various U.S. warships in Nicaragua and in the Asiatic fleet between 1929 and 1936 before being sent to Riga, Latvia, to study Russian. During World War II he was assistant naval attache at the United States embassy in Moscow and later assistant naval attache for air in Murmansk-Archangel until 1944. He was sent to Pearl Harbor in 1945 to serve on the staff of the commander-in-chief of the United States Pacific Fleet and as officer in charge of the Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas. In 1946 he served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence Division), assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington until 1948. He then served as naval attache in Nanking, China. He remained in his post for a year after the Communist revolution before returning to the United States in 1950 to become director of the naval intelligence school. From 1953 to 1956 he was assistant head of naval intelligence in the Pacific fleet and was later a senior intelligence officer in the Navy Department in Washington, and promoted to rear admiral. In May 1960 Frankel became deputy director of naval intelligence and in the following year was appointed chief of staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a post he retained until his retirement in 1964. 

Frankel was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his "exceptionally meritorious service" as assistant naval attache in the U.S.S.R., in 1941-42; directing the repair and salvaging of damaged U.S. vessels; and helping in the rescue and repatriation of survivors of sunken ships. For several years Frankel served on the board of the Tolstoy Foundation, a New York-based organization dedicated to assisting displaced persons of Russian origin. In 1972 he retired to California, where he lectured on China and Russia at San Diego State University's Continuing Education Center of Rancho Bernardo.

In early career served in the Trenton, Augusta, Chester, and Chaumont. Following this sea duty, he was Russian language student in Riga, Latvia, 1936-1938. He then served in the Ellet as gunnery officer and XO; was Assistant Naval Attache, Moscow, and Assistant Naval Attache for Air, Murmansk-Archangel--service in connection with Lend-Lease shipments to USSR, directing repairs to U.S. vessels, salvaging stranded and abandoned vessels, and supervising hospitalization and repatriation of survivors. Served on staff of CinCPac and officer in charge, Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area; Assistant Chief of Staff, CinCPac; Deputy Director for Security, ONI; Deputy Director, Naval Intelligence; and Chief of Staff, DIA from 1961 until his retirement in 1964.
Other Comments:
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Commander Samuel Benjamin Frankel, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Assistant Naval Attache at Murmansk and Archangel. Commander Frankel served in that Russian post from November 1941 to September 1942 and, under adverse conditions, displayed extraordinary initiative and tireless energy in the direction of repairs to damaged United States vessels, in the salvaging of stranded and abandoned vessels, and in the supervision, rescue, hospitalization and repatriation of survivors of sunken ships. As a result of his courage and resourcefulness, certain vessels which would otherwise have been lost have been saved for future service in the war effort.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 308 (November 1941)
Action Date: November 1941 - September 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
Company: Assistant Naval Attache
Division: Murmansk and Archangel, USSR

Rear Admiral Samuel B. Frankel, a Chinese and Russian-speaking expert on the Communist world, who became the DIA's chief of staff.  Both of these men had worked closely with Allen Dulles. Frankel served under him on USIB. Quinn, the G-2 for the Seventh Army in Europe during World War II, acted as personal courier for the information Dulles gathered in Switzerland on Nazi troop movements.

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 Duty Stations
US NavyNaval Attache/Asst Naval Attache, CNO - OPNAVFleet Intelligence Training Center Pacific (Faculty Staff)Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
US Defense Attache Office  (USDAO), Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)Advancement Schools and CoursesOffice of Naval Intelligence (ONI)Center for Naval Intelligence (CNI)
Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI), CNO - OPNAV
  1929-1930, USS Trenton (CL-11)
  1931-1932, USS Augusta (CL-31)
  1931-1933, USS Chester (CL-27)
  1934-1935, USS Chaumont (AP-5)
  1939-1940, USS Ellet (DD-398)
  1941-1944, Naval Attache Office (NAO) Moscow, Naval Attache/Asst Naval Attache
  1945-1945, Joint Intelligence Training Activity Center Pacific (Faculty Staff)
  1946-1948, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  1948-1950, US Defense Attache Office (USDAO) Beijing, China
  1950-1952, Naval Intelligence Training Course (NITC)
  1953-1956, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  1957-1960, Center for Naval Intelligence (CNI)
  1960-1964, Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI), CNO - OPNAV
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1929-1933 US Occupation of Nicaragua
  1941-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1925-1929, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Admiral Samuel Frankel: Memories of Wartime Murmansk
  Nov 02, 2017, General Photos
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