William Fechteler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from William M. Fechteler)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Fechteler
William Fechteler.jpg
Admiral William Fechteler, USN
Born(1896-03-06)March 6, 1896
San Rafael, California, U.S.
DiedJuly 4, 1967(1967-07-04) (aged 71)
Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1916–1956
Commands heldAllied Forces Southern Europe
Chief of Naval Operations
United States Atlantic Command
United States Atlantic Fleet
Amphibious Group 8, Seventh Fleet
USS Indiana
USS Perry
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
Korean War
AwardsNavy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
RelationsRear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler (father)

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.


Fechteler was born in San Rafael, California, on March 6, 1896, the son of Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with the class of 1916 and served in the battleship USS Pennsylvania 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 USS Perry.

In 1942–43, Captain Fechteler served in the Bureau of Navigation (later Bureau of Naval Personnel), then commanded the battleship USS Indiana 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 United States Atlantic Fleet in February 1950 – August 1951.

In August 1951, Admiral Fechteler was appointed Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), 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 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.[1]


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
with "V" Device
3rd Row Navy Commendation Ribbon Navy Expeditionary Medal World War I Victory Medal
with "Atlantic Fleet" Clasp
4th Row American Defense Service Medal
with "Fleet" clasp
American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with nine battle stars
5th Row World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal Philippine Liberation Medal
with two stars


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  • "William Fechteler". Naval Historical Center.
Military offices
Preceded by
Forrest P. Sherman
Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Robert B. Carney