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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Korean War
From Month/Year
June / 1950
To Month/Year
July / 1953

Description
The Korean War; 25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953) began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union gave some assistance.

Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the closing days of World War II. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, and liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U.S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two regions, with separate governments. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither side accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces supported by the Soviet Union and China moved into the south on 25 June 1950. On that day, the United Nations Security Council recognized this North Korean act as invasion and called for an immediate ceasefire. On 27 June, the Security Council adopted S/RES/83: Complaint of aggression upon the Republic of Korea and decided the formation and dispatch of the UN Forces in Korea. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing 88% of the UN's military personnel.

After the first two months of the conflict, South Korean forces were on the point of defeat, forced back to the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Inchon, and cut off many of the North Korean troops. Those that escaped envelopment and capture were rapidly forced back north all the way to the border with China at the Yalu River, or into the mountainous interior. At this point, in October 1950, Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war. Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951.

After these reversals of fortune, which saw Seoul change hands four times, the last two years of conflict became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel. The war in the air, however, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, and Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.

The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty has been signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war. Periodic clashes, many of which are deadly, have continued to the present.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1950
To Month/Year
July / 1953
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1010 Also There at This Battle:
  • Aalto, Tauno Hjalmer, PO2, (1949-1953)
  • Adderton, Manning, SN, (1951-1955)
  • Alexatos, Michael Stephen, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Allen, Richard, PO3, (1951-1954)
  • Alonzo, Louis, PO3, (1950-1954)
  • Ambellan, Charles Herbert, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Amos, Bobby, PO1, (1949-1969)
  • Apple, Clarence, PO2, (1948-2010)
  • Arechiga, Sr., Raymond
  • Baker, Raymond C., PO3, (1948-1951)
  • Barcus, Riley
  • Bartlett, Davis, PO1, (1951-1972)
  • Bash, Charles, SN
  • Bass, Richard Daniel, LTJG, (1951-1953)
  • Beam, Joe, MCPO, (1941-2004)
  • Beckley, Jerry, CWO4, (1948-1969)
  • Beckwith, Eugene Gerrard, PO2, (1951-1955)
  • Bennett, Donald, SN, (1951-1954)
  • Berryman, Bennie Joe, FA, (1949-1950)
  • Bick, Raymond, SR, (1949-1953)
  • Bick, Robert Sterling, LTJG, (1951-1953)
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