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Admiral Frederick H. Michaelis, USN - 'Lucky Bag' Class of 1940 picture, page 285.



Admiral Frederick Hayes Michaelis,
US Navy


1917 - 1992


Admiral Frederick Hayes Michaelis was born in Kansas City, Missouri on 4 March 1917. He entered the US Naval Academy in 1936 and graduated in 1940. He died in Washington, DC on 13 August 1992 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Naval Career

Served in USS Pennsylvania, 1940-1941
Executive Officer, Fighter Squadron 12, 1944- 1945
Commanding Officer, Fighter Squadron 12, 1945
Commanding Officer, Bomber-Fighter Squadron 5, 1945-1946
Served with Air Development Squadron 3, 1949-1951
Commanding Officer, Naval Air Special Weapons Facility, Kirtland AFB, 1951-1954
Commanding Officer, Air Group 11, 1954-1955
Special Weapons Officer, Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet, 1955-1956
Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Air), 1956-1957
Executive Officer, USS Randolph, 1957-1959
Commanding Officer, USS Tolovana, 1959
Served with Navy Plans Section, Strategic Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1959-1960
Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise, 1963-1965
Director of Development Programs, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1965-1967
Commander, Carrier Division 9, 1967-1968
Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Air), 1968-1969, Deputy Director, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, 1969-1972
Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, 1972-1975
Chief of Naval Materiel, 1975-1978
Retired, 1978

Admiral Frederick H. Michaelis, USN - Image from USS Enterprise 1964 cruise book, page 35.

Awards and Citations

Silver Star - Awarded for actions during the World War II: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Frederick Hayes Michaelis, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron TWELVE (VF-12), attached to the U.S.S. Hornet (CV-12), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Tokyo, Japan, on 16, 17, and 25 February 1945. Participating in the first carrier-based air attack on the Tokyo area, Lieutenant Commander Michaelis courageously led a series of four fighter sweeps which destroyed eighteen airborne and thirty-four grounded hostile aircraft in addition to probably destroying nineteen and damaging thirty-five other grounded planes. Subjected repeatedly to attack by enemy aircraft and to intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, he personally shot down two hostile fighters, assisted in downing a third and destroyed three enemy planes on the ground. By his airmanship, courage and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Michaelis upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - Action Date: February 16, 17, & 25, 1945

Navy Cross - Awarded for actions during World War II: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Frederick Hayes Michaelis, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron TWELVE (VF-12), attached to the U.S.S. Hornet (CV-12), in action on 17 April 1945, in the vicinity of Okinawa Jima. When the Combat Air Patrol, of which he was the leader, encountered a much larger group of enemy fighters, Lieutenant Commander Michaelis pressed home determined and vigorous attacks which destroyed nearly all of the enemy aircraft with no loss to his own group, and thereby prevented attacks on our surface forces. He personally shot down three enemy fighters, the last of which he attacked and destroyed with only one gun functioning. Just prior to this encounter, he effectively strafed enemy airfield installations and destroyed one aircraft on the ground. His courage, inspiring leadership and professional skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - Action Date: 17-Apr-45

Distinguished Flying Cross - Awarded for actions during the World War II: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander Frederick Hayes Michaelis, United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flights in operations against the enemy in the vicinity of the Japanese Empire and adjacent Island chains. As pilot of a carrier based plane during the period 16 February 1945 to 20 May 1945, he participated in twenty strikes against enemy shipping, airfields and installations, inflicting extensive damage. His skill and courage were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - Action Date: February 16 - May 20, 1945

Navy Distinguished Service Medal: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Vice Admiral Frederick Hayes Michaelis, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, from February 1972 to May 1974. During this period of extraordinary change in the modern Navy, Vice Admiral Michaelis maintained his Force at maximum readiness in support of national security strategy. In the challenging environment of austere funding and reduced material and personnel resources, he initiated actions and instituted programs which led to major improvements in the performance, readiness, capabilities and morale of the Naval Air Force. Under Vice Admiral Michaelis' direction, his Force achieved the best aviation safety record in its history, resulting in significant cost avoidance savings, an all-time high availability of combat ready aircraft carriers and attached air wings, and improved mission effectiveness. Anticipating the personnel problems associated with transitioning to a smaller, more efficient Navy, he took aggressive action through an extensive human resource management and leadership effort and guided his command to an astonishingly successful retention program. Through dynamic, imaginative, resourceful leadership, and the exercise of outstanding planning and management expertise, Vice Admiral Michaelis rendered invaluable distinguished service, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - Action Date: February 1972 - May 1974

Navy Distinguished Service Medal - Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Frederick Hayes Michaelis, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Chief of Naval Material from April 1975 through July 1978. During his tenure, Admiral Michaelis displayed the highest order of professionalism and personal judgment in managing the vast human and physical resources of the Naval Material Command and in accomplishing missions of high national importance. He initiated and implemented many innovative improvements in both the procedural and institutional aspects of the Navy Material establishment which substantially enhanced the command's capability to acquire, equip, and support weapon systems in the Fleet. Through constant personal attention, perseverance, and vigorous advocacy, Admiral Michaelis restructured and strengthened the Command's technical manpower \ base in quality, quantity, and in application to the missions assigned. Further, his dynamic leadership brought about an increased sense of corporate identity and pride in both line and staff subordinates. By his distinctive achievements, exceptional managerial ability, and selfless devotion to duty, Admiral Michaelis reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - Action Date: April 1975 - July 1978


Source: Adapted from the biographical sketch for Admiral Frederick Hayes Michaelis, Navy Biography; now part of the Modern Biography Files, Navy Department Library, Naval History & Heritage Command.




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