William N. Small

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William N. Small
ADM Small, William Newell 2.JPEG
Official portrait of Admiral William N. Small, 1983
Born(1927-02-22)February 22, 1927
Little Rock, Arkansas
DiedDecember 9, 2016(2016-12-09) (aged 89)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1948-1985[1]
RankUS Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands heldVice Chief of Naval Operations
U.S. Naval Forces Europe
Allied Forces Southern Europe
AwardsWorld War II Victory Medal
Korean Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal

William Newell Small (February 22, 1927 – December 9, 2016) was an admiral in the United States Navy, with service including as Vice Chief of Naval Operations and Commander in Chief, NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Europe.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1927, he graduated from Malvern High School at the age of 15, attending Admiral Farragut Military Academy in Pine Beach, New Jersey until he was old enough to receive his appointment to the United States Naval Academy, class of 1948.

United States Navy career[edit]

Admiral Small served as Executive Officer of USS Forrestal(CV 59) and as Commanding officer of Fighter Attack Squadron Four Two (VA 42), Fighter Attack Squadron Six Five (VA 65), and USS Independence (CV 62). As a Flag Officer, he served as Commander Carrier Division Three, Pacific; Commander Sixth Fleet; Vice Chief of Naval Operations; and the Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/NATO Allied Forces, Southern Europe.

He was Vice Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1981–1983 and Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe from 1983 to 1985.[2][3]

He was a naval aviator who commanded Carrier Strike Group 3 from 1975 to 1976.[4]

Arkansas Aviation Historical Society inducted Small into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1992.[5] He died on December 9, 2016 at the age of 89.[1]

Decorations and medals[edit]

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg China Service Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Naval Aviator Badge
1st Row Navy Distinguished Service Medal with one gold award star Legion of Merit with award star
2nd row Air Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with award star
3rd row Air Force Commendation Medal Navy Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze service star Navy Unit Commendation
4th row Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy Expeditionary Medal China Service Medal
5th row American Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal
6th Row National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star Korean Service Medal with three service stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
7th Row Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
7th row Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal


  1. ^ a b "William Small Obituary - Virginia Beach, VA". legacy.com. The Virginian Pilot via legacy.com. December 18, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Who's who in government - Marquis Who's Who, LLC, Biographical Research Bureau - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-03-09 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ UPI (1983-04-02). "Reagan Nominates Admiral". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  4. ^ "Carrier Strike Group 3 — History". United States Navy. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  5. ^ Arkansas Aviation Historical Society Collection. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.