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Operational Archives Branch
Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060

Papers of Vice Admiral
Robert S. Salzer,

Biographical Note

Robert Samuel Salzer was born 29 July 1919 in New York, New York. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1940. While at Yale, he was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 23 December 1940.

After receiving his commission, Salzer was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations until 1942, when he joined USS Fulmer. In March 1943 he reported as Officer in Charge of USS Summitt and in July 1943 assumed command of USS YMS-347. He commanded USS LST-624 from June 1944 to December 1945, when he returned to the United States for separation processing.

Salzer was on inactive status from April to September 1946, when he returned to active duty as executive officer of USS Guadalupe. In February 1948 he joined the staff of Commander Fleet Training Group, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, as Navigation Officer. He had instruction at the Naval Intelligence School from July 1948 until December 1949, after which he served on the staff of that school. He reported in March 1951 as executive officer of USS Charles H. Roan, and in March 1952 became Assistant Intelligence Officer on the staff of Commander Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. In August 1952 he was assigned as Intelligence Staff Officer on the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command and in April 1954 assumed command of USS Abbot.

He was a J-2 Staff Officer on the Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, from April 1956 to July 1959, after which he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In June 1960 Salzer reported as Assistant for Joint Chiefs of Staff Matters in the Logistics Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He remained there until August 1961, then commanded USS Bryce Canyon and in January 1963 was detached to command Destroyer Division 132. In March 1963 he transferred to command of Destroyer Division 192.

He returned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in May 1964, where he served as Head of the Analytical Support Group until October 1965. He then reported as Deputy Program Director for the Fast Deployment Logistic Ship Project in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

He assumed command of Amphibious Squadron 4 in February 1966, serving in that capacity from 1 April until 25 August 1967, when he became Commander River Assault Flotilla 1/Commander River Support Squadron 7/Commander Riverine Assault Force (Commander Task Force 117). He was assigned duty as Commander Operation Sealords in October 1968.

Salzer returned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Project Officer of the Future Professional Manpower Requirements Study from November 1968 to December 1969, when he assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 3. He assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 7 in September 1970 and upon the disestablishment of that Flotilla on 16 March 1971 transferred to command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 3. In April of that year he reported as Commander United States Naval Forces Vietnam and Chief of the Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.

In September 1972 he became Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of documents from Vice Admiral Salzer’s service as Commander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV) and Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. These are official documents relating to his duties in those positions; no personal materials are included. The collection is organized in two series.

Series I contains message traffic sent and received by Salzer as COMNAVFORV. Major topics include Operation Market Time, support to the Republic of Vietnam Navy (RVN), and Vietnamization, the process of turning responsibility for conduct of the war over to Vietnamese forces. The messages are arranged in chronological order.

Series II holds a series of short point papers on a variety of logistical and operational topics. The papers are arranged by the number assigned as they were written. An index to the point papers can be found at the beginning of the first folder.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Papers of Robert S. Salzer, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.

Subject Headings (LCSH)

Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975—Naval Operations, American.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975—Logistics—United States.
United States. Naval Forces, Vietnam.
Vietnam (Republic). Navy.


0.75 cubic feet

27 January 2005