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|Born||March 6, 1896|
San Rafael, California, U.S.
|Died||July 4, 1967 (aged 71)|
Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1916–1956|
|Commands held||Allied Forces Southern Europe|
Chief of Naval Operations
United States Atlantic Command
United States Atlantic Fleet
Amphibious Group 8, Seventh Fleet
|Battles/wars||World War I|
World War II
|Awards||Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)|
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
|Relations||Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler (father)|
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.
Admiral William M. Fechteler's ribbon bar:
|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
- Burial Detail: Fechteler, William M – ANC Explorer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Fechteler.|
- "William Fechteler". Naval Historical Center.
Forrest P. Sherman
| Chief of Naval Operations
Robert B. Carney