TORGERSON, Theodore, RADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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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
1960-1966, Director of Management (DOM)/Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
Service Years
1931 - 1966
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Minnesota
Minnesota
Year of Birth
1907
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember TORGERSON, Theodore (Ted), RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Clarkfield, Minn.
Last Address
Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland

Date of Passing
May 01, 1994
 
Location of Interment
U.S Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge


 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni Association
  1931, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rear Admiral Theodore Adolph Torgerson

Admiral Torgerson, retired from the Pentagon in 1966 after a 35-year Navy career. He died 1 May 1994 of cardiac arrest in his Melvin Road home in Annapolis. He was 86.

He was born and reared in Clarkfield, Minn., where his parents, who were of Norwegian descent, farmed. After attending Oklee High School, he enrolled in St. Olaf College, leaving after two years to teach in a one-room schoolhouse in Red Lake County, Minn. He outraged the Norwegian community by teaching classes in English.

"He planned to go to West Point," said his son, William T. Torgerson, who lives in Annapolis.

His congressman's allocations there were filled, but the Naval Academy had openings. Mr. Torgerson entered the academy in 1927 and graduated in 1931. He served as a gunnery officer aboard the battleship USS Tennessee until 1933, then switched to destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

He returned to Annapolis in 1937 to attend the Naval Postgraduate School, studying applied communications. During this time, he also acted as assistant coach of the Navy football team.

With the coming of World War II in 1939, he served in staff positions with the Atlantic Fleet on neutrality and war patrols as well as serving in protective convoy duty on the famed Murmansk run.

In 1942, he became flag secretary to the superintendent of the Naval Academy and later that year met England's King George VI aboard the battleship USS Washington at Scapa Flow, off northern Scotland.

From 1943 to 1945, he served on the staff of Pacific Fleet Cmdr. Chester W. Nimitz, helping to develop plans to invade Japan.

From 1945 to 1946, he commanded the destroyers USS Waldron and USS Soley in the Atlantic until he was sent to Italy and England, where he held several staff positions, including assistant chief of staff for communications for the 2nd Fleet.

In 1953, he commanded the attack cargo ship USS Skagit, which evacuated Vietnamese civilians from Hanoi to Saigon after the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. A year later, he assumed command of the heavy cruiser USS Toledo.

In 1956, he left the sea and returned to Washington to serve as Navy liaison to Congress. He joined the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1958 and was promoted to rear admiral in 1960. He retired from the Pentagon in 1966, where he had become director of communications for the Joint Chiefs.

"He greatly admired Adm. Arleigh 'Thirty-One Knot' Burke," said his son, "because of his aggressiveness as a commander of destroyers."

Admiral Burke got his nickname for his daring attempts to stop the Japanese from moving troops in the Solomons. To several American transports that stood in his way, he flashed the message: "Stand aside, I'm coming through at 3
1 knots."

"My father was a gregarious but taciturn Norwegian, and if you asked him to talk about his Navy days, then he would," said his son.

Admiral Torgerson retired to his Annapolis home and busied himself with building a road to connect it to Melvin Road.

"He had built roads in Minnesota during the summers when he was a kid, so he proceeded to build a gravel road with the drainage ditches and all. I guess it was about 150 yards long," said Mr. Torgerson. "He also was a frustrated farmer and enjoyed planting and caring for a vegetable garden."

Admiral Torgerson was active in the cultural life of Annapolis and was treasurer of the Historic Annapolis Foundation.

RAdm. Torgerson's interment was in the Naval Academy Cemetery.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Augusta Burwell Melvin; a daughter, Augusta T. White of Annapolis; a sister, Dora T. Bilbrough of Phoenix, Ariz.; and three grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Historic Annapolis Foundation, 18 Pinkney St., Annapolis 21401.

   
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 Duty Stations
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)US NavyNaval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
USS Waldron (DD-699)USS Soley (DD-707)COMSECONDFLTUSS Skagit (AKA-105)
USS Toledo (CA-133)CNO - OPNAVJoint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1927-1931, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1931-1933, USS Tennessee (BB-43)
  1933-1934, USS Pruitt (DD-347)
  1934-1934, USS Mccormick (DD-223)
  1935-1936, USS Mccormick (DD-223)
  1936-1937, USS Babbitt (DD-128)
  1937-1937, USS Manley (DD-74)
  1938-1938, Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
  1939-1940, USS San Francisco (CA-38)
  1941-1942, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1942-1943, USS Biddle (DD-151)
  1943-1945, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1945-1946, USS Waldron (DD-699)
  1946-1947, USS Soley (DD-707)
  1948-1950, Naval Support Unit (NSU)
  1951-1953, COMSECONDFLT
  1953-1955, USS Skagit (AKA-105)
  1955-1956, USS Toledo (CA-133)
  1955-1956, USS Toledo (CA-133)
  1956-1958, CNO - OPNAV/Defense Liaison Division
  1958-1960, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1960-1966, Director of Management (DOM)/Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Convoy Duty / East Bound Atlantic Transit
 Colleges Attended 
Saint Olaf CollegeUnited States Naval Academy
  1924-1928, Saint Olaf College
  1927-1931, United States Naval Academy1
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