Arthur William Radford
Admiral, United States Navy
at Chicago, Illinois, February 27, 1896, he graduated from the US Naval
Academy in 1916.
During World War I, while serving on the USS South Carolina in 6th Battle Squadron, British Grand Fleet, he was advanced to temporary Lieutenant (jg) in the former year and Lieutenant in the latter. In 1920 he completed aviation training at the Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station. During 1921-23 he was attached to the Bureau of Aeronautics, from 1923-1927 he served with aviation units aboard the USS Aroostook, the USS Colorado, and the USS Pennsylvania.
He was at the San Diego Naval Air Station in 1927-29, and briefly in command of the Alaskan aerial survey operation in 1929. During 1929-31 he was aboard the carrier Saratoga, and 1931-32 was an aide and flag secretary to the commander of aircraft, Battle Fleet. Again with the Bureau of Aeronautics in 1932-35, then briefly on the USS Wright and 1936-37 again on the USS Saratoga, and commanded the Naval Air Station in Seattle, Washington, 1937-40; he was Executive Officer of the carrier USS Yorktown in 1940-41; commanded the Naval Air Station in Trinidad for a few months in 1941.
Promoted to Captain, and named director of aviation training in the Bureau of Aeronautics in December 1941, a post he held until April 1943. During that period served in various other staff capacities as well, and received promotion to Rear Admiral.
From July 1943-May 1944 he commanded the Northern Carrier Group, comprising USS Enterprise, USS Belleau Wood, and USS Monterey, of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance's 5th Fleet, taking notable part in campaigns in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. In May 1944 he was named Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for air, and in June-July was acting Deputy. In November 1944 he returned to the Pacific in command of Carrier Div 6, a unit of Admiral Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58, and took part in operations around Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Japanese home islands.
After a brief period as air commander, Pacific Fleet, he was promoted to Vice Admiral in January 1946 (dating from December 1945) and named Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for air. In February 1947 he was given command of the 2nd Task Fleet, Atlantic. He was appointed Vice Chief of Naval Operations in January 1948, and in April 1949, was promoted to full Admiral and became commander of the Pacific Fleet and High Commissioner of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
He was a leading figure in the so-called "admirals revolt" against what they perceived as reduced roles for the Navy, particularly against the Air Force, resulting from the unification of services in the National Military Establishment.
In July 1953 he turned over command of the Pacific Fleet to Admiral Felix Stump, and in August succeeded General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was reappointed to that post in 1955 and held it until his retirement in August 1957. He served thereafter as consultant to the Defense Dept while pursuing private business interests. He died at Bethesda, Maryland, August 17, 1973, and was buried with full military honors in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Mariam J. Radford, 102, widow of Admiral Arthur W. Radford, former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, died of congestive heart failure March 30, 1997 at her home in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Radford was born in Portland, Oregon, February 28 1895, and was raised in Oregon and California. Her only son, Robert, from a prior marriage, was a Marine Corps fighter pilot during World War II, and was shot down and lost over the Japanese Islands in 1945. Admiral and Mrs. Radford were married in April 1939.
During World War II, Admiral Radford commanded a carrier group in the Pacific. In later years, they traveled extensively around the world in connection with his duties as Chairman, JCS, during the Eisenhower administration.
Mrs. Radford was well known in Navy circles for her interest in the welfare of Navy families, for her generosity of time and spirit in support of community affairs and for her warm hospitality. In recognition of her talents, the Association of Naval Aviation presented Mrs. Radford with the Dorothy M. Flatley Award for inspiration support of the naval aviation community. She was cited by the Trident Society of the Naval Academy for her support of the academy. She also received a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation from President George Bush. The USO presented her with the USO Eagle in recognition of her generous support. Mrs. Radford was a greeter at the Naval Chapel, Washington, D.C., an honorary life member of the Naval Officers Wives Club, a member of the Society of Sponsors, United State Navy, A Director of the Washington Home and a Patron of the Boy Scouts of America. Mrs. Radford was also a member of the Chevy Chase Club and the Sulgrave Club.
She is survived by her grandson, Robert C. Maze Jr., by her niece Mrs. Mariam Salvadorini, of Reno, Nev., and by her nephew, General Michael S. Davison, of Arlington, Virginia.
Services will be held at the Old Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia, at 10 a.m., April 9, and burial will follow at Arlington National Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Hospice of the District of Columbia.
Photo (c) Michael Patterson, September 1999
Updated: 26 September 1999 Updated: 6 February 2001 Updated: 11 December 2002 Updated: 11 July 2003 Updated: 29 February 2004 Updated: 19 January 2006
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003