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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1975-1978, Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET)
Service Years
1946 - 1978
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember WILSON, James, VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jan 24, 2011
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Vice Admiral James Burnett Wilson
Deputy Commander and Commander
Naval Forces Viet-Nam from 1971 and 1973

James B. Wilson, 85, a retired Navy vice admiral and Naval Academy official, died of pneumonia Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 at Kendal Crosslands, a retirement community in Pennsbury Township.

Mr. Wilson graduated from Radnor High School. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 1 in Paoli and became an Eagle Scout. After attending Duke University for a year, he received an appointment to the Naval Academy.

In his senior year, he commanded 24 Company, which was presented a flag after winning a midshipmen competition for efficiency. The color girl who made the presentation was Mr. Wilson's former high school sweetheart and fiancee, Dorothy Ann Hargrove. The couple married in June 1946 after he graduated from the academy.

Mr. Wilson spent his first two years as a naval officer aboard destroyers. Then, after graduating first in his class in 1948 from submarine school in New London, Conn., he spent more than 20 years in the submarine service.

In 1959, he commanded the submarine Dogfish. He later was executive officer of the Ethan Allen and commanded the Andrew Jackson, both nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines.

Promoted to captain in 1967, Mr. Wilson served ashore in administrative positions and at sea, including commanding a submarine squadron and support ships at Pearl Harbor.

From 1971 to 1973, as a rear admiral, he served in Viet-Nam and was in charge of the withdrawal of naval operations. The assignment earned him a Distinguished Service Medal.

After a year in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy in Washington, Mr. Wilson was promoted to vice admiral in 1974. For the next four years, he was chief of naval education, including supervising the Naval Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Naval War College, and earned a second Distinguished Service Medal for his performance. During his career, he received numerous U.S. and foreign decorations and medals including three DSM's, three Legions of Merit, The Navy Commendation Medal, and three Navy Unit Commendations.

The admiral retired from the Navy in 1978.

Other Comments:
James Burnett Wilson was graduated with distinction and commissioned ensign in 1946 with the Class of 1947, "The Best on the Severn." He served two years in destroyers before reporting for submarine training in New London, CT. Upon graduation from Submarine School in 1948, he received the award recognizing the graduate standing first in his class. His career at sea in the ensuing years was spent for the most part on submarine duty. In 1958 he took command of Dogfish (SS-350). This assignment was followed by duty under instruction with the Atomic Energy Commission, and during the following years he served as executive officer of Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) and commanded Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619), both nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile (Polaris) submarines. As a captain, he served at sea and ashore as Polaris Executive to the Chief of Naval Operations; Executive Officer to the Deputy Secretary of Defense; Commander Submarine Squadron One and Flotilla Five (Pearl Harbor); and Executive Assistant to the Commander of Chief, Pacific, during the Vietnam War. Upon promotion to flag rank, Admiral Wilson served in Vietnam as Deputy Commander and Commander Naval Forces from 1971 and 1973 when the command was disestablished upon the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces. For this service he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Following a year in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral in 1974 and named the Chief of Naval Education and Training. In this capacity, he commanded one of the Navy's largest commands numbering 125,000 military and civilian personnel. His responsibilities included the management of the Navy's educational and training centers: the U.S. Naval Academy; the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School; and the U.S. Naval War College. He was awarded a second Distinguished Service Medal for this service.
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Command Ashore
Command at Sea
SSBN Deterrent Patrol Badge - 10 Patrols

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Submarine School Officers BasicNAVSUBASE New London/GrotonSubmarine School Officers AdvancedUSS Dogfish (SS-350)
Nuclear Power School (Staff), Bainbridge, MD, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC)Atomic Energy CommissionUSS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608)USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619)
Commander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV)Naval Advisory Group VietnamSecretary of the Navy (SECNAV)US Navy
  1948-1949, Submarine School Officers Basic
  1948-1950, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1949-1950, Submarine School Officers Advanced
  1958-1959, USS Dogfish (SS-350)
  1960-1960, Nuclear Power School (Staff), Bainbridge, MD, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC)
  1960-1961, Atomic Energy Commission
  1961-1962, USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608)
  1963-1965, USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619)
  1965-1966, Director Submarine Warfare, CNO - OPNAV
  1969-1970, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1971-1973, COMNAVFORV
  1972-1973, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV)
  1972-1973, Naval Advisory Group Vietnam
  1973-1974, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
  1975-1978, Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1972-1973 Vietnam War/Vietnam Cease-fire Campaign (72-73)
 Colleges Attended 
Duke UniversityUnited States Naval Academy
  1943-1943, Duke University
  1943-1946, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
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