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Adapted from "Captain Griswold T. Atkins, United States Navy" [biography, dated 1 April 1959] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Ordnance and Weapons
Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • NHHC-Library

Griswold Terry Atkins

28 December 1909-9 September 1999

Photo of Captain Griswold T. Atkins copied from the 1930 edition of the U.S. Naval Academy yearbook 'Lucky Bag'.

A specialist in ordnance, Griswold Terry Atkins graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1930 and between 1936 and 1939 attended the course in ordnance engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School. In the interim he had duty afloat in the battleship Maryland and Colorado and in the destroyer Whipple.

In the summer of 1939 he joined the battleship Tennessee, which was tied up in “battleship row” at Ford Island, T.H., when the Japanese attacked the Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. Far more fortunate than most of ships there, the Tennessee was damaged but was able to proceed, under her own power, to Bremerton, Washington, for repairs. In May 1942 he joined the newly-commissioned battleship Alabama, which had shakedown duty with the British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, and in August 1943 reported as Plate Battery Officer at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Virginia.

During 1946 and 1947 he had consecutive command of the attack cargo ships Prentiss and Rankin, after which he had duty as Head of the Armor, Projectiles, Bombs, Rockets, Warheads and Ballistics Section in the Bureau of Ordnance. He was Ordnance and Gunnery Officer of the staff of Commander Service Force, Pacific Fleet between 1950 and 1953, followed by an assignment as Chief of Staff, Aide and Operations Officers on the staff of Commander Cruiser Division 4.

For a year, 1954-1955, he commanded the destroyer tender Yellowstone and in October became Program Director (Ammunition) in the Planning and Progress Division, Bureau of Ordnance. In February 1958 he was ordered to duty as Commanding Officer of the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland and in August of the  same year was designated Commanding Officer of the Naval Propellant Plant, Indian Head.

Personal Data:

Born: 28 December 1909, Annapolis, Maryland

Parents: Captain A.K. Atkins, USN, Ret, and Mrs. Frances (Terry) Atkins

Education: Severn School, Boone, Maryland; US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (BS, 1930); Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Md. (ordnance engineering, 1936-1939)


Commissioned Ensign, USN 5 June 1930

Lieutenant (junior grade), USN, 5 June 1933

Lieutenant, USN 30 June 1937

Lieutenant Commander, USN, 30 June 1942

Commander, USN, 15 October 1942

Captain, USN, to date from July 1948

Medals and Awards:

American Defense Service Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

World War II Victory Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp

China Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Chronological Transcript of Naval Service

Jul 1930- Jun 1932 USS Maryland (Fire Control)

Jul 1932- Dec 1935 USS Whipple, (Ass’t Engineer and Torpedo Officer)

Jan 1936-Apr 1936 USS Colorado (5th Division Officer)

June 1936-Jun 1939 Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Md. (student)

Jul 1939 May 1942 USS Tennessee (Plotting Room Officer)

May 1942- Aug 1943 USS Alabama (Main Battery Ass’t & Ass’t Gunnery Officer)

Sep 1943-Dec 1945 Naval Proving Grounds, Dahlgren, Va. (Plate Battery Officer)

Jan 1946- May 1946 USS Prentiss (CO)

May 1946- Mar 1947 USS Rankin (CO)

Apr 1947- Mar 1950 Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Dept. (Head of Armor, Projectiles, Bombs, Rockets, Warheads and Ballistics Section)

Mar 1950- Jun 1953 Staff, Commander Service Force, Pacific (Ordnance & Gunnery Officer)

Jun 1953 – Sep 1954 Staff, Commander Cruiser Division 4 (Chief of Staff, Aide & Operations Officer)

Sep 1954- Oct 1955 USS Yellowstone (CO)

Oct 1955 Bureau of Ordnance (Program Director Ammunition, Planning& Progress Division)

27 Feb 1958 (orders) Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Md. (CO)

27 Aug 1958 (orders) Naval Propellant Plant, Indian Head, Md. (CO)


Published: Wed Jun 09 16:49:22 EDT 2021