William Fechteler

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William Fechteler
William Fechteler.jpg
Admiral William Fechteler, USN
Birth name William Morrow Fechteler
Born (1896-03-06)March 6, 1896
San Rafael, California, U.S.
Died July 4, 1967(1967-07-04) (aged 71)
Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Buried Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1916–1956
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Chief of Naval Operations
Indiana (BB-58)
Perry (DD-340)
Seventh Fleet's Amphibious Group 8
Commander in Chief, Atlantic and U.S. Atlantic Fleet
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Korean War
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit

William Morrow Fechteler (March 6, 1896 – July 4, 1967) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower administration. He was the son of Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler.


Born in San Rafael, California, Fechteler graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1916 and served in the battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38) during World War I. Over the following two decades, Fechteler had a variety of seagoing and shore billets, including several staff positions and command of the destroyer Perry (DD-340).

In 1942–43, Captain Fechteler served in the Bureau of Navigation (later Bureau of Naval Personnel), then commanded the battleship Indiana (BB-58) in the Pacific. Promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in early 1944, he was Commander of the Seventh Fleet's Amphibious Group 8 from August 1944 to March 1945, participating in landings at Morotai, Leyte, Lingayen and elsewhere in the Philippines. He spent the rest of 1945 as Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel, in Washington, D.C., followed by service as Commander, Battleships & Cruisers, Atlantic Fleet. As a Vice Admiral, he was Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Personnel, from February 1947 until January 1950 and, as an Admiral (February 1, 1950), was Commander in Chief, Atlantic and U.S. Atlantic Fleet in February 1950 – August 1951.

In August 1951, Admiral Fechteler was appointed Chief of Naval Operations, succeeding Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, who had died in office in July. As CNO, Fechteler was responsible for sustaining Korean War-era naval activities in the Far East and in the European area. He made two trips across the Atlantic in 1951–52 and one to Asia. He continued the Navy's building program for new aircraft carriers in the face of economy moves and to expand pay and benefits for the Navy's people.

When the President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953, he chose to replace all the Armed Forces' chiefs. In August 1953, Admiral Fechteler exchanged positions with the new CNO, Admiral Robert B. Carney, becoming Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe. He served at that command's Naples headquarters until July 1956, when he retired. Over the next several years, Fechteler served on a special Defense Department study committee on personnel compensation and worked for the General Electric Company.

Fechteler died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland on July 4, 1967, at the age of 71. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


USS Fechteler (DE-157) and USS Fechteler (DD-870) were named for his father, Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler.


Admiral William M. Fechteler´s ribbon bar:

Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Navy Distinguished Service Medal w/ Gold Star
2nd Row Army Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal w/ "V" Device
3rd Row Navy Commendation Ribbon Navy Expeditionary Medal World War I Victory Medal w/ 'Atlantic Fleet' Clasp
4th Row American Defense Service Medal w/ "Fleet Clasp" American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ nine service stars
5th Row World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal Philippine Liberation Medal w/ two stars


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Forrest P. Sherman
United States Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Robert B. Carney