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Adapted from "Rear Admiral Bruce Byron Adell, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 30 June 1947] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Bruce Byron Adell 

15 December 1898 - 7 March 1974

PDF Version [7.1MB]

Rear Admiral Adell, born 15 December 1898, in Baldwin, Kansas, attended the Grammar Schools of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, and Broadway High School and Lincoln High School of Seattle. During the summers of 1914 and 1915 he worked aboard the US Army Transport Burnside, engaged in laying cable in Puget Sound and Alaskan waters. He enlisted in the United States Navy on 7 April 1917, and served in USS New Orleans, engaged in escort duties in the Atlantic, until June 1918, when he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from the Navy at large.

At Annapolis he was a member of the wrestling team for four years, and won his "N" in wrestling. During his first class year he was Battalion Commander of the First Battalion and he also played class football. Graduated from the Academy and commissioned Ensign on 2 June 1922, he subsequently advanced through the various grades, attaining his present rank on 21 June 1942.

Rear Admiral Adell's service between World War I and World War II included duty in the fire control division of the battleship Maryland; in the plotting room and  gunnery division of USS West Virginia; and as gunnery officer of the destroyer Williams Jones in 1927-28. He received letters of commendation when the West Virginia Won the Battle Efficiency Pennant in 1925 and 1927, and for gunnery performance while serving as gunnery officer of the William Jones in 1928. 

Completing the course in general line duties at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, he attended the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut, in 1930, completing the course in submarines and qualifying for command of submarines. In 1931-34 he served in the submarines S-30 and S-39, operating with Submarine Divisions 9 and 10 participating in the Yangtze River valley operations in 1931 aboard USS S-39. He returned to the United State in the Spring of 1934 and served for three years as an instructor in mathematics at the US Naval Academy, with additional duty in 1935 as assistant wrestling coach and in 1936 as officer representative for wrestling.

Rear Admiral Adell joined USS Astoria on 7 June 1937, and served in that cruiser, operating with Cruiser Division 6, Scouting Force, before assuming command  of the destroyer Truxtun, a unit of Destroyers, Battle Force. On 15 July 1940 he reported for duty at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC, where he remained after war was declared on Japan, Germany, and Italy, on 8 December 1941, and until detached on 1 November 1943. Following temporary duty under instruction with the Fleet Operational Training Command, Atlantic Fleet, at Norfolk, Virginia, he reported for duty in charge of fitting out USS Leon  (APA 48), and  assumed command of that transport attack ship at her commissioning 11 December 1943. 

Relieved of command of the Leon on 16 November 1944, Rear Admiral Adell served as control officer on the staff of Commander, Amphibious Forces, US Pacific Fleet, until 20 July 1945. For his services during the period 19 November 1944, until 6 July 1945, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star Medal with the following citations:

"For distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement as the Commander of the Control Group from February 19  to February 24, 1945, during the assault and capture of Iwo Jima Islands. Showing outstanding skill and thorough knowledge of his profession, he directed the assault waves to the beach according to schedule. With professional skill and courage, he contributed in a large measure to the success of the assault operation. His conduct throughout distinguished him among those performing duties of the same character."

"For distinguishing himself by meritorious service as Force Control Officer while attached to the Staff, Commander Amphibious Forces, United States Pacific Fleet, from November 19, 1944 to July 6, 1945. During this period he assisted in the preparation of plans, and participated in the amphibious operations for the capture of Japanese-held Iwo Jima, Volcano Island and Okinawa Gunto, Nansei Shoto. As Central Control Officer during the initial assault against those islands he controlled and dispatched the assault waves and support gunboats while under enemy mortar and artillery fire. After the initial assault he organized and directed the salvage of disabled landing craft. By his exception ability in organizing, training and operating his force, he contributed materially to the success of these two major operations. His leadership, outstanding service, and conduct throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Rear Admiral Adell served as Chief Staff Officer, Transport Squadron 16, on "Magic Carpet" duty returning veterans from the Pacific areas from 25 July until 9 November 1945, and reporting to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, was assigned, after brief temporary duty in that bureau, to USS Columbia. In July 1946, he was ordered to duty as Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander, First Task Fleet, and he was then under orders to the National War College, Washington, DC, to report on 28 August 1947, for the course arranged for selected officers of the Department of State Foreign Service and officers of the armed forces. The ten month course began on 2 September 1947.

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award, Rear Admiral Adell had the Victory Medal, Escort Class (USS New Orleans) and the Yangtze Service Medal (USS S-39), and was entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp (USS Truxtun); the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with 3 stars; the American Area Campaign Medal; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 2 stars; and the World War II Victory Medal. He also had the Order of Merit "Juan Pablo Duarte" rank of Knight Commander, awarded by the Government of the Dominican Republic.

He died on 7 March 1974. 


Published: Wed Jan 03 12:42:15 EST 2018