William Mack Angas, born in Great Burdon, County Durham, England Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1917. In January, 1918, during the World War, he was commissioned Assistant Civil Engineer in the US Navy, with the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade, to rank from December 27, 1917. He received temporary promotion to Lieutenant in July, 1918, and was commissioned Lieutenant in the Civil Engineer Corps on July 1, 1920. Subsequent promotions were Lieutenant Commander, 1925; Commander, 1935; Captain, July 1, 1941; and Commodore, October 20, 1944, reverting to Captain on December 1, 1947. His selection to the rank of Rear Admiral was confirmed by the Senate on May 18, 1948. His retirement in the rank of Vice Admiral became effective on May 1, 1950.
After he was commissioned in the US Navy, he had instruction at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from January to February, 1918. He then reported to the Public Works Department, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served four years. From February, 1922 until April, 1925, he had similar duty in the Fourteenth Naval District and at the Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, TH.
He reported for duty in the Public Works Division, Naval Operating Base, San Diego, California, on April 18, 1925, and served in that duty until April, 1929. He then transferred to duty as Public Works Officer of the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, with additional duty as Public Works Officer of Eighth Naval District, New Orleans, Louisiana. From June 1932, until July 1936, he was Assistant Public Works Officer of the Navy Yard, New York, New York, and rom August, 1936 until June 1938, he had similar duty in the First Naval District and at the Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts. He reported the following month for duty as Public Works Officer, Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, where he served until April, 1942, having additional duty as Public Works Officer of the Sixth and Seventh Naval Districts, headquarters also in Charleston, until December, 1939, when he relieved of the additional duty.
On April 10 1942, he assumed duty as Public Works Officer o the Navy Yard, New York, New York, and for “especially meritorious” services in that assignment, he received a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy. The citation further states: “…as Officer in Charge of Construction at the Navy Yard, New York, New York, from 10mApril 1942 to 18 September 1943. Confronted by the multiple problems incident to wartime construction, (he) applied himself with tireless energy, skillfully scheduling all times to permit early and orderly completion of much needed facilities for the successful maintenance of the Fleet…”
He was ordered in September 1943 to duty on the staff of the Commander, Seventh Fleet (then Vice Admiral Arthur S. Carpender, USN) with Brisbane, Australia as his base of operations. In February, 1944, he became Officer in Charge of the Third Naval Construction Brigado, and head of the Base Planning and Construction Division of the Service Force, Seventh Fleet, and while in that duty he supervised the construction by the famous Seabees of bases at Milno Bay, Manus, Hollandia, Biak, Morotai, Leyte Gulf, Mindoro, Subic Bay, Palawan, Zamboango, Mactan Island, as well as the Seventh Fleet Headquarters at Manila. In January, 1945 he was designated Commander Construction Forces, Seventh Fleeet. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” the citation stating in part: “For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Officer in Charge, THIRD United States Naval Construction Brigade and as Commander Construction Forces, SEVENTH Fleet Area…he was responsible in a large measure for the successful consgruction of sixteen Naval bases from Australia to the Philippine Islands. His outstanding leadership, initiative and devotion to duty under enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Detached from duty with the Seventh Fleet, he had brief duty in May, 1945 in the Office of the Director, Pacific Divisions, Bureau of Yards and Docks, San Francisco, California, then in the Navy Yard, New York, before assuming duty in June, 1945 as Superintending Civil Engineer, East Coast areas, headquarters in New York, an at Norfolk, Virginia.
On March 4, 1948, he assumed duty as Director, Atlantic Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, New York, New York. In April, 1949, he was assigned additional duty on the staff of Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Eastern Sea Frontier, and was so serving whom relieved of active duty and transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on May 1, 1950.
In addition to the Legion of Merit and the Commendation Ribbon Vice Admiral Angas has the Victory Medal; the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one engagement star; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one star; and the World War II Victory Medal. He also has commendatory letters for his work on repairing Drydock #3 at Philadelphia, and for work in 1927, to control the floods in the San Diego River area (California).
Vice Admiral Angas is author of the book Rivalry in the Atlantic, published in 1939, a history of the development of the commercial express steamship on the Atlantic. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and American Power Boat Association.