Callaghan, William, VADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1956-1957, Commander, Western Sea Frontier
Service Years
1918 - 1957
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

79 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1897
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Callaghan, William (Bill), VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
San Francisco
Last Address
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington National Cemetery

Date of Passing
Jul 08, 1991
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Merchant Marine Service US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
William McCombe Callaghan
Vice Admiral, United States Navy


Vice Admiral William McCombe Callaghan (August 8, 1897 - July 8, 1991), born in San Francisco, California, was a U.S. naval officer and the first commander of the USS Missouri (BB-63). 

Callaghan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1918. After commanding the USS Reuben James (DE-153) in 1936, he joined the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1939.

In 1944, Captain Callaghan was named the first commanding officer of the Missouri, the Navy's newest battleship. 

On April 11, 1945, USS Missouri was struck by a kamikaze off the coast of Okinawa. The damage was minor, and no one died aboard this battleship except the Japanese pilot, Setsuo Ishino, whose body was recovered. Captain Callaghan insisted that the young Japanese airman had done his job to the best of his ability and with honor and deserved a military funeral. The following day, April 12, 1945, the pilot was given a military funeral at sea. 

During the Korean War, Callaghan commanded U.S. naval forces in the Far East. He retired in 1957. 

Senior commands 
In 1946, Callaghan held the rank of Rear Admiral, and in that year gave a presentation to the Naval War College on his experience in the Naval Transportation Service before the war. On October 1, 1949, he was appointed as the first commander of the Military Sea Transportation Service, which would later become the Military Sealift Command. He was promoted from Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral around this time. From 1953 to 1954, during the Korean War, he commanded the Amphibious Force of the US Pacific Fleet. From 1954 to 1956, he served as Commander, US Naval Forces Far East. He then replaced retiring Vice Admiral Francis Low as Commander of the Western Sea Frontier. He retired from the US Navy at the rank of Vice Admiral in 1957.

Admiral Callaghan died July 8, 1991, at Bethesda Naval Hospital after suffering a stroke. 
   
Other Comments:
William M. Callaghan a retired Navy Vice Admiral, 93, who served as Commanding Officer of the USS Missouri in World War II, died July 8, 1991 at Bethesda Naval Hospital after suffering a stroke four weeks ago. 

The California native graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1918 and served aboard a destroyer in World War I. He later assumed command of the USS Reuben James in 1936. After joining the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1939, he was war plans officer for logistics for the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. For his performance, was awarded the Legion of Merit. 

In 1944, Admiral Callaghan commissioned the USS Missouri and commanded it in operations against Tokyo, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. 

During the Korean War, he served as commander of Naval forces in the Far East. 

Years of service: 1918–1957
Rank: USN-O9, Vice Admiral
Commands held:
USS Reuben James (DD-245)
USS Missouri (BB-63)
Military Sea Transportation Service
Battles/wars:
World War I
World War II, Battle of Okinawa
Korean War
Awards:
Legion of Merit
Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the White Elephant
Order of Boyaca
Namesake: A transport ship named the GTS Admiral Wm. M. Callaghan (AKR-1001).

   
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World War II
From Month/Year
December / 1941
To Month/Year
September / 1945

Description
Overview of World War II 

World War II killed more people, involved more nations, and cost more money than any other war in history. Altogether, 70 million people served in the armed forces during the war, and 17 million combatants died. Civilian deaths were ever greater. At least 19 million Soviet civilians, 10 million Chinese, and 6 million European Jews lost their lives during the war.

World War II was truly a global war. Some 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as on the high seas. Entire societies participated as soldiers or as war workers, while others were persecuted as victims of occupation and mass murder.

World War II cost the United States a million causalities and nearly 400,000 deaths. In both domestic and foreign affairs, its consequences were far-reaching. It ended the Depression, brought millions of married women into the workforce, initiated sweeping changes in the lives of the nation's minority groups, and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life.

The War at Home & Abroad

On September 1, 1939, World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. By November 1942, the Axis powers controlled territory from Norway to North Africa and from France to the Soviet Union. After defeating the Axis in North Africa in May 1941, the United States and its Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943 and forced Italy to surrender in September. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Northern France. In December, a German counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) failed. Germany surrendered in May 1945.

The United States entered the war following a surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet in Hawaii. The United States and its Allies halted Japanese expansion at the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and in other campaigns in the South Pacific. From 1943 to August 1945, the Allies hopped from island to island across the Central Pacific and also battled the Japanese in China, Burma, and India. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14, 1945 after the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Consequences:

1. The war ended Depression unemployment and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life. It led the federal government to create a War Production Board to oversee conversion to a wartime economy and the Office of Price Administration to set prices on many items and to supervise a rationing system.

2. During the war, African Americans, women, and Mexican Americans founded new opportunities in industry. But Japanese Americans living on the Pacific coast were relocated from their homes and placed in internment camps.

The Dawn of the Atomic Age

In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, warning him that the Nazis might be able to build an atomic bomb. On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi, an Italian refugee, produced the first self-sustained, controlled nuclear chain reaction in Chicago.

To ensure that the United States developed a bomb before Nazi Germany did, the federal government started the secret $2 billion Manhattan Project. On July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert near Alamogordo, the Manhattan Project's scientists exploded the first atomic bomb.

It was during the Potsdam negotiations that President Harry Truman learned that American scientists had tested the first atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, released an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. Between 80,000 and 140,000 people were killed or fatally wounded. Three days later, a second bomb fell on Nagasaki. About 35,000 people were killed. The following day Japan sued for peace.

President Truman's defenders argued that the bombs ended the war quickly, avoiding the necessity of a costly invasion and the probable loss of tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives. His critics argued that the war might have ended even without the atomic bombings. They maintained that the Japanese economy would have been strangled by a continued naval blockade, and that Japan could have been forced to surrender by conventional firebombing or by a demonstration of the atomic bomb's power.

The unleashing of nuclear power during World War II generated hope of a cheap and abundant source of energy, but it also produced anxiety among large numbers of people in the United States and around the world.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
December / 1941
To Month/Year
September / 1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1658 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Floyd Eugene, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Abramson, Arthur, LT, (1942-1945)
  • Agesen, Bruce Martin, LCDR, (1942-1966)
  • Ahlfs, Jerold Francis, CDR, (1940-1954)
  • Albertson, Dean Howard, LTJG, (1943-1953)
  • Alexander, William Patrick, S2c, (1942-1945)
  • Alexatos, Michael Stephen, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Ambellan, Charles Herbert, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Anderson, Leroy Marvin, LT, (1942-1946)
  • Arnold, Arlington Reid, LTJG, (1941-1946)
  • Arnold, John Jacob, LCDR, (1942-1976)
  • Aschenbrenner, John, S1c, (1943-1945)
  • Azer, John, CAPT, (1928-1948)
  • Badger, Heber Jenkins, CAPT, (1941-1961)
  • Bainbridge, Robert, PO3, (1940-1949)
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