Finding aid (PDF)
Edward H. Eckelmeyer, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1905. He attended Northeast High School in Philadelphia prior to receiving a commission to the Naval Academy in 1923. Early in his naval career, Eckelmeyer served aboard USS Arkansas (BB 33) and USS Hopkins (DD 249). He attended flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1929 and subsequently served aboard USS Wright (AV 1) with Patrol Squadron 8. In 1932 he began his two-year duty as a Gunnery Officer with Patrol Squadron 3 at Coco Solo in the Canal Zone.
Eckelmeyer acquired his post-graduate degree in Aviation Ordnance Engineering in Annapolis prior to serving as the first Senior Aviator along with the commissioning crew of USS Philadelphia (CL 41). He served as Flight Officer of Torpedo Squadron 6 aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) between 1939 and 1940. In 1940 he was designated Aviation Ordnance Officer at the Naval Proving Ground Dahlgren where he participated in the development of the self-sealing aviation fuel tank.
In 1943 Eckelmeyer commanded USS Biscayne (AVP 11) and received the Legion of Merit for amphibious landings conducted at Salerno, Italy, as well as the Navy Bronze Cross for landings in Southern France. He then worked as the Aviation Ordnance Officer at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, DC, and participated in Operation Magic Carpet as Commanding Officer aboard USS Tulagi (CVE 72).
In 1946 he was assigned Commanding Officer of USS Albemarle (AV 5), a laboratory ship that participated in Operation Crossroads; USS Albemarle provided base facilities for engineers and scientists.
Between 1947 and 1950 Eckelmeyer was assigned to the Special Weapons Project at the Pentagon and piloted a B-25 between Washington, DC, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, while working under Major General Leslie Groves and with George Gamow, the physicist. In 1950 Eckelmeyer became a student of Strategy and Logistics at the Naval War College and in 1951 became the Commander of the Utility Wing, Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet. Later in 1951, he was assigned to USS Cabot (CVL 72) as the Commanding Officer of the training carrier. He then became the US Naval Attaché for Air in Oslo, Norway, until 1955.
From 1955 until his retirement in 1957, Eckelmeyer worked as the Chief, Naval Sciences Division in the Office of Naval Research in Washington, DC, and simultaneously earned his Master of Science degree in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.
Eckelmeyer retired on July 1, 1957, with the rank of Rear Admiral and spent the next ten years as Chief of Engineering Laboratories at Douglas Aircraft Plant in El Segundo, California.
After retirement from Douglas Aircraft, RADM Eckelmeyer moved to California with his wife, Karin Aspergren Eckelmeyer. In addition to his prolific military career, RADM Eckelmeyer authored written works about Operation Crossroads and the self-sealing fuel tank. He was also a member of the National Sojourners and active in various military reunion organizations.
RADM Eckelmeyer passed away in December 2001 and was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium in Annapolis, Maryland.
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of official and personal documentation to include correspondence, written works and photographs that highlight each part of Rear Admiral Edward H. Eckelmeyer, Jr.’s career and education.
This collection should be cited as Papers of Edward H. Eckelmeyer, Jr., Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.