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Arthur W. Radford

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Arthur William Radford (February 27, 1896August 17, 1973) was an U.S. Navy Admiral, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Command.

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Radford and President Truman, 1950

Arthur Radford was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1896. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1916, Radford served on board the USS South Carolina.

A career naval officer, Radford completed flight training in 1921 after serving in the First World War and was appointed Chief of Aviation Training in 1941, shortly before the Second World War. During WWII, Admiral Radford commanded Carrier Division Eleven in the Pacific during 1943 and Carrier Division Six in 1944. In 1948, Radford was named Vice Chief of Naval Operations and the next year was appointed High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands.

In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, Admiral Radford became the third Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served in that position until 1957, when he retired. During his retirement, Radford still advised Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson from time to time.

Admiral Radford died in 1973 at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

It is widely said that Admiral Radford was one of the greatest of America's modern naval officers. He was immensely powerful politically and probably the most influential Admiral in U.S. history.

In recent years, a controversial book about homosexuality in the U.S. Navy named Admiral Radford as the most prominent gay naval officer. In 1988, a Virginia man who claimed to be Radford's lover in the 1950s detailed their relationship in an article in OUT! magazine. Radford's family has denied the allegations of homosexuality and, other than several former seamen who have made claims, there is no evidence to support that Admiral Radford was gay.


Preceded by:
Gen. Omar N. Bradley
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1953–1957
Succeeded by:
Gen. Nathan F. Twining

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