NANCE, James, Jr., RADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
126 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1977-1979, CNO - OPNAV/Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO)
Service Years
1940 - 1979
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

392 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember NANCE, James, Jr. ('Bud' / DSM), RADM.

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
Monroe, North Carolina
Last Address

Date of Passing
May 11, 1999
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Presidential Service Badge US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity



Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, January 1981 — January 1982.

James Wilson “Bud” Nance Jr., son of Colonel James W. Nance and Mary Elizabeth Monroe, was born in Monroe, North Carolina, where he and Jesse Helms grew up two blocks from each other. He attended what is now North Carolina State University and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944. Nance also has a master’s degree in international relations from George Washington University.

During World War II, Nance was assigned to the battleship USS North Carolina. After the war, he completed flight training and served as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Basic Training Command of at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. He was assigned to exchange duty with the British Royal Navy in 1953 and when he returned to the US in 1955, he was project pilot with the Flight Test Division at the Naval Air Test Center (Patuxent River, MD).

Nance served as the senior naval officer on the staff of the commander of US forces in Europe when Alexander Haig held the combined job of US and NATO commander. He also held strategic and planning posts in the Pentagon and was commander of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal.  He attained the rank of Rear Admiral on September 1, 1970. His final tour of duty in the Navy was as Assistant Vice-Chief of Naval Operations.

During the SALT II deliberations, Nance served as a consultant to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1981, he joined the White House as President Reagan’s deputy assistant for national security affairs, and for a brief time, he was acting chief special assistant for national security affairs, temporarily replacing Richard V. Allen.  In 1982 he served as director of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in the Federal Government.

After leaving the White House, Admiral Nance worked for Boeing Military Airplane Co., where he was manager of Navy systems. In 1991, Admiral Nance was asked by his childhood friend, Jesse Helms, to join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as staff director to help improve the staff’s efficiency. He served in this position until his death on May 11, 1999. Admiral Nance died from complications of myelodysplasia, a preliminary form of leukemia at the age of 77.

Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

  Rear Adm. James Nance, 77, Influential Aide to Jesse Helms
May 11, 1999

Last Updated:
Aug 13, 2010

WASHINGTON, May 14, 1999: James W. Nance, a retired Navy rear admiral who took on a late-career job as the chief aide to his old boyhood friend Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, died on Tuesday, May 11, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He was 77 and lived in McLean, Va.

Marc A. Thiessen, the spokesman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Admiral Nance was staff director, said the cause was complications of myelodysplasia, a pre-leukemia condition.

On Capitol Hill, Admiral Nance was known for having brought order to the committee's Republican staff, which Senator Helms, the senior Republican, and others on the panel had found disorganized and riven by ideological differences.

''When I came over here, I couldn't understand the organization,'' Admiral Nance said in a 1992 interview with The National Journal after agreeing to come out of retirement a year earlier to help his old friend. ''It was a zoo to me. My military mind has got to have all the men and women in line.''

Admiral Nance's role was important then, when Senator Helms was the committee's ranking minority member, and it became more important later, when, after the 1994 elections, the Republicans took control of the Senate and Mr. Helms became chairman.

Before Admiral Nance was brought in, The National Journal said in its 1992 article, there had been a movement among the committee's Republicans to remove Mr. Helms as their leader because of the minority staff's disarray.

Mr. Helms accepted Admiral Nance's recommendation that eight members of the staff be fired, and, although there was an angry reaction at first, Republican leaders later said the Nance replacements had brought order to the panel.

Admiral Nance was born in Monroe, N.C., where he and Mr. Helms grew up two blocks from each other. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1944 and went on to serve as a naval aviator in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. By the time he retired from the Navy in 1979, he had held several commands, including that of the aircraft carrier Forrestal.

He became a humorous if caustic reflection of the dour Senator Helms, who seems to enjoy saying no to State Department requests. Once, when questioning the benefits given to ambassadors abroad, including hardship pay at some posts, Admiral Nance said: ''I fought at Iwo Jima. That's hardship.''

He had many Navy decorations, including two Distinguished Service Medals and the Legion of Merit.

After his Navy service, Admiral Nance served for two years on the White House staff of President Ronald Reagan and later worked for Boeing in its naval systems department.

Besides the Naval Academy, he graduated from the Naval War College and the National War College, and received a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University.

Admiral Nance, who was known as Bud to his friends, is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Mary Lyda Faulk; two sons, James Lee Nance of Richmond and Andrew Monroe Nance of McLean; two daughters, Mary Catherine Worth of Atlanta and Susan Elizabeth Nance of McLean, and seven grandchildren.

When Admiral Nance agreed to go to work for Senator Helms, The Washington Times reported in an obituary on Wednesday, he asked that he not be paid, but the Senator pointed out that a Federal law required that Senate staff members be paid a minimum of $153 a year.

Once he went to work for the $153, Admiral Nance said, ''Nobody can ever say Jesse gave his old buddy a job.''

Senator Helms, noting that his friend's pay came out to $2.94 a week, said, ''Bud's worth every penny.''

My Photos From This Event
No Available Photos

Copyright Inc 2003-2011