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Alfred Sargent Cleaves was born in North Scituate, Massachusetts, on December 6, 1905, son of Mrs. Mary Ellen Nudd Cleaves and the late Dr. Arthur W. Cleaves. He was graduated from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1928 with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy and later received a Master of Arts degree from that University. He was teacher in Providence from 1934 until he entered the naval service in July 1942, and following the cessation of World War II hostilities, he returned to Providence to serve from 1945 to 1948 as Vocational Advisor, Brown Guidance Center.
After graduation from Brown University in 1928, he served for a year as a Seaman in the Merchant Marine Service. He was commissioned Lieutenant (jg) in the U.S Naval Reserve on July 13, 1942 and through subsequent advancement attained the rank of Commander to date from May 1, 1953.
He reported for active duty on July 27, 1942, and following a period of indoctrination, served as First Lieutenant of the USS Might (PG 94), a corvette operating in the Atlantic Area. During the next four months he attended Submarine Chaser Training Center, Miami, Florida, and Fire Fighting School and Damage Control School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In November 1943 he joined the USS Edward H. Allen (DE 531), and served throughout the remaining war period as Executive Officer while that destroyer escort operated in the Atlantic. He was released to inactive duty status in the US Naval Reserve in October 1945.
Recalled into active service, he was Assistant Professor of Naval Science and Tactics, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program, at Brown University, from September 1948 until June 1952. He then had sea duty as Executive Officer of the USS Caloosahatchee (AO 98), a Fleet Oiler operated in the Atlantic, and when detached in December 1954 reported to the Navy Department, Washington, DC There he currently serves as Head of the Reserve Training Section, Bureau of Naval Personnel.
Commander Cleaves has the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.