Behrens, Jr., William, VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1969-1970, CNO - OPNAV
Service Years
1943 - 1973
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PO1 Jeff Frey (Ace) to remember Behrens, Jr., William, VADM.

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
Not Specified
Last Address

Date of Passing
Jan 26, 1986
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
  • VADM Behrens, JR. died of a heart attack on 21 January 1986 at the Bay front Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • VADM Behrens, JR. is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Other Comments:
  • The son of RADM William W. Behrens SR., USN, who served during WWI, WWII, and Korea.

Career Highlights:

  • Credited with conceiving electronic slip rings allowing for continuous, non-reversing trainability of submarine sonar, as well as authoring the first short form code for use in submarine wolfpack communications.
  • Was the Project Manager for the Navy's first underwater telephone (UQC-1) for voice communications between ships and submerged submarines. As well as the Project Officer for the first US scanning sonar (QHB-1)
  • While at the Nuclear Power School, wrote curricula for both officer and enlisted courses and set the requirements for operation of nuclear reactors under rigid guidelines, which were later adopted by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
  • As Special Advisor to the Chief, Naval Reactors (ADM Hyman G. Rickover), he completed nuclear physics study through the doctorate level and qualified as a Nuclear Reactor Operator, License Number 5.
  • Was assigned to the Construction, Commissioning, and Command of the USS Skipjack (USS-585), the first modern submarine(designed from keel up with improved nuclear reactor, fast attack, whale shaped, sail diving planes, high test steel, true submersible,.
  • Instrumental in the establishment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.
  • Author of US Policy “The Treasure of the Deep Ocean is the Property of all Mankind”
  • Served as Deputy Administrator of NOAA
  • Co-Authored “The Limits to Growth”
Post Naval Career Highlights:
  • Corporate Vice President of J. Watson Noah Associates, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia.
  • Science Advisor for Wheeler Industries, Washington DC.
  • Co-Founder of Services National Bank, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Appointed by the State of Florida to establish the Florida Institute of Oceanography.
  • As a Bioneering Professional Engineer (Nuclear), he authored many professional articles and journals.
  • The Navy Nuclear Power School's Vice Admiral William W. Behrens JR. Award is awarded to the honor graduate of the class.
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  1960-1961, Naval Guided Missile School (Faculty Staff)


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 Naval Guided Missile School (Faculty Staff) Details

Naval Guided Missile School (Faculty Staff)

Garrison - Training Command


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School Assignments - Staff

Formal School

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Last Updated: May 15, 2007
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15 Members Also There at Same Time
Naval Guided Missile School (Faculty Staff)

Forni, Ellwood, CPO, (1948-1963) Petty Officer First Class
Koch, Don, PO1, (1959-1968) Seaman Apprentice
Turcotte, Martin, PO1, (1960-1974) Airman Apprentice
Behrens, William Wohlsen, VADM, (1943-1973) OFF 112X Captain
Pow, Joseph, MCPO, (1955-1987) MT MT-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Robison, Hubert, CPO, (1959-1983) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Robison, Hubert, CPO, (1959-1983) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Fichter, Paul, LT, (1957-1979) TD TDV-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Olivocanales, Carmelo, CMC, (1958-1989) GM GM-0985 Petty Officer Third Class
Basye, Terry, PO2, (1960-1964) MT MT-0000 Seaman
Jarvis, Michael, PO3, (1959-1963) MT MT-0000 Seaman
Koch, Don, PO1, (1959-1968) MT MT-0000 Seaman
Rosas, Joseph, MCPO, (1961-1991) MT MT-0000 Seaman
Shotwell, Burnett Michael, SN, (1960-1963) ET ET-0000 Seaman
Shook, Joseph, PO1, (1960-1972) MT GS-1314 Seaman Apprentice
Steenburgh, Charles, LCDR, (1959-1980) MT MT-0000 Seaman Apprentice
McGinnis, Dan, LT, (1959-1985) Seaman

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