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Adapted from "Captain Edward C. Callahan, United States Navy"  [biography, dated 13 June 1957] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Location of Archival Materials

Edward Cooper Callahan

11 August 1906 - 

PDF Version [1.9MB]

Edward Cooper Callahan was born in Dallas, Texas, on August 11 1906. He attended Fremont High School, Oakland, California, and has advanced instruction at the University of California, Extension Division, and Lincoln University, San Francisco. Prior to entering Naval Service, he was employed by the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 1924-1929, and until 1941 was Broadcast Engineer for the National Broadcasting Company, Stations KGO and KPO, San Francisco. During this period he was a member of the Volunteer Communication Reserve in the Twelfth Naval District, serving first as a Radio Operator and later as Officer in Charge of Unit One, Section One, Oakland, California. 

Ordered into active naval service, as a Naval Reserve officer, he reported in June 1941 as radio Officer and Communications officer on board USS Minneapolis. While aboard that heavy cruiser he saw action during the Battles of Midway, the Eastern Solomons and Tassafaronga and in the invasion of Guadalcanal. Between 1942 and 1044 he had consecutive duty as Staff Communications Officer, Task Force Sixty-five, Air, Solomon Islands and Fleet Air Command, South Pacific Area, he received two Letters of Commendation with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon and Bronze Star. 

He was next assigned as Electronics Training Officer at the Naval Air Technical Training Command, Chicago, Illinois and Pensacola, Florida. In 1946 he participated in the A-Bomb Test at Bikini as Officer in Charge of Radio Broadcast Facilities on the staff of Commander Joint Task Force One. 

Released from active duty late in 1946, he returned to radio work and was associated with the West Central Broadcasting Company, Station Week, Peoria, Illinois. Again reporting for active naval service, this time as a US Navy Officer, he was assigned in November 1947 as Project Control Officer in the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department. 

He attended the 1950-1951 course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC after which he was Deputy Director, later Director, of the Aeronautical Electronics and Electrical Laboratory at the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1953 he was ordered to the Bureau of Aeronautics, to serve as Head of the Electronics Design Branch and from September 1955 as Assistant Director of the Electronics Division, now known as the Avionics Division. 

In June 1957 he was assigned to the Naval Training Device Center, Port Washington, Long Island, New York as Commanding Officer.


Born: Dallas, Texas, August 11, 1906

Parents: Emmet Clay (deceased) and Martha Edwards (Whatley) Callahan

Education: John C. Fremont High School, Oakland, California; University of California, Extension Division; San Francisco; Naval School, Electronics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine (1941-1942); Naval School, Radar, Navy Research Laboratory, Anacostia, DC (1942); George Washington University, Washington, DC (1949 1950); Industrial College of the Armed Forces (195 1951); Advanced Management Program, 28th Session, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass. (fall 1955)


Ensign, USNR, February 26, 1932

Lieutenant (jg), USNR, February 26, 1937 

Lieutenant, USNR, August 1, 1941

Lieutenant Commander, USNR, May 1, 1943 

Commander, March 1, 1944

Transferred from USNR to USN, November 18, 1947

Captain, to date from July 1, 1954 


Letter of Commendation (Ribbon and “V”), CINCPAC

Letter of Commendation (Ribbon), ComSoPac Force and Area

Presidential Unit Citation (USS Suwnee)

Naval Reserve Medal

American Defense Service Medal 

American Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal  

Letter of Commendation: (CINCPAC): “For meritorious conduct while serving as Radar Officer of the USS Minneapolis on the night of November 30-december 1, 1942, during the engagement with enemy surface forces off Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. He furnished very valuable information essential to the Task Force Commander in maneuvering the force, in opening fire and subsequent thereto. Without his radar information contact with the enemy force might have been missed.

While under fire, and after his vessel suffered severe and critical damage, he courageously remained at his post supplying ranged and bearing for main battery fire. During this time…he ingeniously effected emergency throughout the equipment, thus permitting its continual operations throughout the night, furnishing information vital to the conduct of his ship to a place of refuge. 

Letter of Commendation (ComSoPac Force and Area): “…as Communication Officer from December 19, 1942 until March 31, 1943, on the staff of Commander South Pacific Force and Area serving Commander Task Force Sixty-five and Commander Air, Solomon Islands….He organized on efficient Flag Communications Office in the USS Nassau and again in USS Suwanee on short notice under very adverse conditions…His initiative, knowledge of radar and keen interest in the performance of the equipment resulted in improved operations within the Task Force…He assumed the duties of Air Operations Communication Officer (at Guadalcanal), reorganized the message center, constructed an underground tunnel large enough to centralize all aircraft radio facilities, plus a filter center, maintaining one hundred miles of wire line on the field telephone system…reorganized the air warning systems, standardized all radar procedures, lent his technical assistance in installing equipment at Russell Islands, assisted in setting up the first Night Fighter Control in the combat zone, formulated standard systems for maintaining and checking aircraft recognition equipment, and improved the various radio navigational aids…”

Presidential unit Citation  (USS Suwanee): “For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy forces in the air, ashore and afloat…The Suwanee’s valiant record of combat achievement reflects the highest credit upon her courageous officers and men upon the United States Naval Service…”


Apr 1928   Feb 1932   Volunteer Communications Reserve, Twelfth Naval District (Radio Operator) 

Feb 1932    June 1941   Volunteer Communication Reserve, Twelfth Naval District (Officer in Charge, Unit One, Section One, Oakland,    California)

Jun 1941     Dec 1942    USS Minneapolis (Radio Officer and Communications  Officer with collateral duty as radar Material Officer) (Under  instruction at Naval School, Electronics, Bowdoin College,  Brunswicke, Maine, Nov 1941 to Jan 1942 and Naval School,  Radar, Navy Research Laboratory, Anacostia, DC, Jan 1942 to Apr 1942)

Dec 1942    Feb 1943     Staff of Commander Task Force Sixty-five  (Staff, Communications Officer)

Feb 1943     Apr 1943     Staff of Commander Air Solomons (Staff,    Communications Officer) 

Apr 1943     May 1944     Fleet Air Command South Pacific (Staff,    Communications Officer and Radio-Radar Material Officer)

Jul 1944       Mar 1946     Naval Air Technical Training Command      (Staff, Electronics Training Officer)

Mar 1946     Nov 1946     Staff of Commander Joint Task Force ONE (Officer in Charge, Radio Broadcast Facilities; participated in Bikini A-Bomb tests)

Nov 1946     Nov 1947     Inactive duty

Nov 1947     Jul 1950       Bureau of Aeronautics, Electronics Division (Project Control Officer) 

Aug 1950     Jun 1950       Industrial College of the Armed Forces (instruction) 

Jul 1953       Jul 1953        Naval Air Development center, Johnsville Pennsylvania (Deputy Director, then Director (Jul 1952 to Jul 1953, nautical Electronics and Electrical Laboratory) 

Jul 1953        Sep 1955     Buaer, Electronics Division (Head, Electronic Design Branch and from Dec 1953 to Aug 1954 Acting      Assistant Director, Electronics Division)  

Sep 1955       Jun 1957      Buaer, Electronics Division (Assistant Director) 

Jun 1957                          Naval Training Device Center, Port Washington, Long Island, New York (Commanding Officer and Director) 


Published: Fri May 22 10:14:29 EDT 2020