George Paul Unmacht was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 2 September 1911, son of Lieutenant Colonel George F. Unmacht, USA, and Mrs. (Othelia J. Burton) Unmacht. He received his early education from Hyde Part High School in Chicago; Western High School of Washington, DC, and Culver Military Academy, Culver, Indiana, and after a year at Columbian Preparatory School, also in Washington was appointed Midshipman from the Third Congressional District of Illinois. Entering the US Naval Academy on 14 June 1929, he was honorably discharged upon graduation on 1 June 1933, due to legislation of the previous year. He was appointed Ensign in the Naval Reserve on the same date, and on 16 July 1934, was released to accept commission as Ensign in the US Navy, to date from 29 May 1934. He subsequently advanced to the rank of Commander, his date of rank 1 January 1944.
After being commissioned in the US Navy, he had sea duty from August 1934 until November 1936 in USS Lexington and USS Dupont. He assisted in fitting out USS Vincennes, at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation plant at Quincy, Massachusetts, and served aboard that carrier from her commissioning on 24 February 1937, until November of that year, during which time she operated under the Chief of Naval Operations. In January 1938 he joined USS Asheville, a unit of the Asiatic Fleet, and continued duty on Asiatic Station until May 1940.
Ordered to the Eleventh Naval District Headquarters, San Diego, California, he had duty in connection with fitting out USS Stansbury, and joined her on her commissioning, 28 August 1940. On 20 May 1941, he became her Executive Officer, and served as such until 2 November, shortly before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He next reported as Aide to the Commandant, Naval Operating Base, Iceland, and from August 1942 until September 1943 served as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander Task Force 99. For meritorious service in that assignment he received a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon from the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet.
Assuming command of USS Paul Jones in November 1943, he served for a year before his transfer to command of USS Stoddard. For outstanding service in the latter command, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, the Silver Star Medal, and a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V.” The citations follow, in part:
Bronze Star Medal: “For meritorious service as Commanding Officer of the USS STODDARD in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area from November 2, 1944, to April 18, 1945. A skilled and resolute leader, Commander Unmacht skillfully directed the fire of his ship against hostile installations during this period, and by his courage and determination, contributed to the success of three bombardments against the enemy in the Kuriles…”
Silver Star Medal: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity …in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, June 6, 1945. During numerous suicide plane attacks on the unit to which the STODDARD was attached, Commander Unmacht successfully directed the fire of his guns and, skillfully maneuvering his vessel, enabled her to come through the engagement without damage by the suicide planes…”
Gold Star in lieu of Second Bronze Star Medal: “For heroic achievement as Commanding Officer of the USS STODDARD during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Western Pacific War Area from July 1 to August 22, 1945. Skillfully maneuvering his ship in Empire waters while on screen of antiaircraft and anti-submarine missions…”
After brief duty at Headquarters, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California, Commander Unmacht served from May 1946 to March 1948 as Operations Officer on the Staff of the Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier. He assumed command on 1 April 1948, of USS Waldron, and detached in April 1950, reported for duty as Executive Officer of the Naval Amphibious Training Unit, Atlantic, at Little Creek, Virginia.
In August 1951 he reported to the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, and completing the course had brief instruction at the Sonar School until March 1952, when he assumed command of Escort Destroyer Division 42.
In addition to the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star and Combat “V” and the Commendation Ribbon with Combat “V”, Commander Unmacht has the China Service Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one star; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with stars; the World War II Victory Medal; and the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp.
He died 26 February 1988 in Marin County, California.