Leahy, William Daniel, FADM

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Last Rank
Fleet Admiral
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1942-1949, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
Service Years
1899 - 1949
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael Kohan (Mikey), ATCS to remember Leahy, William Daniel, FADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Bethesda, Montgomery County, Maryland

Date of Passing
Jul 20, 1959
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 2, Lot 932, Grid R-31.5

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

USS Leahy (DLG-16, later CG-16) was named in honor of Fleet Admiral Leahy.
Other Comments:

Biography: William Daniel Leahy was an American naval officer and the first such officer ever to hold the rank of Fleet Admiral and the first ever to hold five-star rank in the U.S. armed forces.

Leahy was born in Hampton, Iowa and educated at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, from which he graduated in 1897. Midshipman Leahy was assigned to USS Oregon when she made her famous dash around Cape Horn in the spring of 1898 to participate in the Battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War. During the First World War Leahy was captain of the dispatch boat used by future U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The two men became close friends for the rest of their lives.

After the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt decided he needed a senior military officer as personal adviser and point of contact with his three service chiefs. On July 6, 1942, Leahy was appointed Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army and Navy, the President of the United States. Leahy was appointed the first US Fleet Admiral on December 15, 1944.

He was critical of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that in his eyes were "of no material assistance in our war against Japan". His feeling was that "in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)Bureau of OrdnanceCNO - OPNAV
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1897-1898, USS Oregon (BB-3)
  1900-1901, USS Glacier (AF-4)
  1902-1904, USS Tacoma (CL-20)
  1907-1909, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1909-1911, USS CALIFORNIA (ACR-6)
  1917-1918, USS Nevada (BB-36)
  1921-1922, USS SAINT LOUIS (C-20)
  1923-1926, Bureau of Navigation
  1926-1927, USS New Mexico (BB-40)
  1927-1931, Bureau of Ordnance
  1933-1935, Bureau of Navigation
  1935-1936, Commander Battle Ship Divisions Battle Fleet
  1936-1937, Commander Battle Ship Divisions Battle Fleet
  1937-1939, CNO - OPNAV
  1937-1942, Break in Service
  1942-1949, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Battle of Santiago
  1917-1918 World War I
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Surrender of Japan, End of WWII
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1893-1897, United States Naval Academy
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