Title: Shoulder Boards, Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid
Accession #: NHHC 2001-58-3
Size: 2.5 x 5.75
Medium: Fabric, Leather, Brass
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One pair of Admiral shoulder boards. Board are pentagonal-shaped. Obverse is gold fabric with black wool visible underneath. At the top point of the pentagon is a gold button with eagle holding an anchor. There is a silver embroidered fouled anchor below the button with the crown pointing toward the square end of the board. Below the anchor are four silver embroidered stars arranged in a diamond pattern. The reverse has a leather strap sewn on with a snap on the end. A // Gemsco // makers’ mark is underneath the strap. A stamp on the back of the button reads // United Carr //
These shoulder boards belonged to Admiral Thomas C. Kincaid. He held the rank of Admiral from 3 April 1945 until his retirement from the Navy on 30 April 1950. The four-star Admiral is the second highest position in the US Navy. The five-star Fleet Admiral of the Navy was created in 1944 and remains an active rank but no one has been appointed to that rank since 1945. Consequently, the four-star Admiral is currently the highest officer appointment in the US Navy.
Fun Fact: The Admiral ranks were not authorized by Congress until the Civil War. In 1866, President Andrew Johnson appointed David Farragut as the first Admiral in the US Navy, the rank we would recognize today as a four-star Admiral.