Wednesday, January 19, 2022

My dear Admiral...


In the 1940's, the Navy used a form letter to reduce the Flag Officer Ranks. It let "My dear Admiral" down with a gentler bump. Sent in November 1945 to all of the 369 flag officers still on active duty, the Navy's letter simply asked that if (for guidance in future planning) , the admiral wanted to retire— please reply.

Of those who had replied by December 10, 1945, only 16 said they wanted to get out. Among them were Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey; 62-year-old Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, commander of the Atlantic Fleet throughout most of the war; hardboiled Admiral Emory S. Land, for seven years head of the Maritime Commission. The Navy sent nearly 150 Admirals home who did not request retirement.

Nevertheless, the Navy's stars were rapidly thinned out. Scheduled to go by the end of 1945 were 51 admirals who were recalled to duty after they had already been retired. The Navy hopes by June 1946 to reduce its flag roster from the peak of 400 to 228.

From TIME MAGAZINE, 17 December 1945

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