Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
William Morgan McCormick was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on June 28, 1912. He attended Perth Amboy High School and Rutgers University (1929-1930) prior to his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1930. He graduated and was commissioned an Ensign on 31 May 1934.
In December 1940, he joined the staff of Commander Cruiser Division Five as Aide and Chief Lieutenant, and was serving in that capacity at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ordered in February 1942 to Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida, he underwent flight training and in August of that year was designated a Naval Aviator. His sea duty included service on USS Wasp and USS Bairoko. He was commanding officer of USS Valley Forge, three aircraft squadrons and USS Greenwich Bay, Flagship of Commander, Middle East Force. He also served as commander of Miramar Naval Air Station, California.
As Commander Fleet Air Wings of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, he directed and managed a major tactical command that extended from the Eastern Mediterranean to the United States, and from Iceland to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Before this assignment he was Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he served as liaison officer between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He also served as Assistant Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and as Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. On diplomatic missions and assignments, he dealt with a number of foreign governments including Italy, Ethiopia, Libya, and Austria.
Admiral McCormick was awarded the Legion of Merit three times, and he holds many other decorations and citations, including the Air Medal, World War II Victory Medal, China Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Order of Merit (Officer) of the Republic of Italy.
Scope and Content Note
The Papers of Rear Admiral William M. McCormick consist primarily of photographs, a scrapbook, and invitations. The collection is organized in five series.
Series I contains biographical information about Rear Admiral McCormick. Included in this series are biographies and news clippings concerning McCormick.
Series II consists of invitations to social and diplomatic functions kept by RADM McCormick particularly during his time as a U.S. Naval Attaché in Rome, Italy. This series is arranged chronologically.
In Series III are photographs covering a wide variety of subjects, including the ships on which McCormick served, places he visited, personal shots, and the recovery of the Gemini 4 capsule and astronauts. They are organized largely in chronological order, with several folders of undated photographs at the end of the series.
Series IV consists of the scrapbooks created by McCormick during his career. The scrapbook is made up primarily of photographs, many of which include captions. Additionally, there are indexes to many of the photos from 1943 and 1959. Much of the material in the scrapbook dates from the 1940s, but items from the 1960s are included as well.
Series V consists of miscellaneous items. This series includes two publications, Diary of the Fiume Situation and Anti-Submarine Warfare. Miscellaneous personal items are also included.
Papers of William M. McCormick, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
Subject Headings (LCSH)
United States. Navy--Officers--Photographs.
World War, 1939-1945--Naval Operations, American--Photographs.
Lake Champlain (Aircraft Carrier : CVS-39)--Photographs.
Military Attachés--United States--Archives.
2 cubic feet