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Adapted from "Captain Rodney Jenkins Badgers, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 24 April 1963] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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Rodney Jenkins Badger


13 July 1912 – 23 April 2002


Photo of Captain Rodney J. Badger copied from page 299 of the 1935 edition of the U.S. Naval Academy yearbook 'Lucky Bag'.

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One of four sons of Brigadier General and Mrs. C.A. Badger to graduate from the Naval Academy, Rodney Jenkins Badger received his commission in 1935.  He joined the battleship Arizona and in 1937 was ordered to Asiatic Station.  There he served successively on board the destroyer Stewart and the gunboat Mindanao and was present during the fall of Shanghai and Canton to the Japanese.  He continued duty afloat in the oiler Platte and the cruiser Vincennes and was attached to the latter when the United States entered World War II.

The Vincennes had an illustrious war record, participating in troop movements to Iceland; patrol of the Arctic; two trips to South Africa for transshipment of gold; escort of the Hornet with General Doolittle’s flyers aboard for their B-25 raid on Japan; the invasion of Guadalcanal and the First Battle of Savo Island.  In the latter engagement the Vincennes was sunk.  Captain Badger was picked up by a destroyer after spending the night in the water, transferred to USS Barnett, then to the SS Roamer, which took him to Aukland, New Zealand, where he served on the staff of Commander Service Force, South Pacific and as Executive Officer of the Receiving Barracks there.

He continued duty in the Pacific, September 1942-September 1945, participating in the major war engagements, including Midway, Solomons, New Georgia, Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the fall of Japan, while serving as Navigator of the store ship Talamanca:  Communications Officer on the staff of Commander Mine Squadron TWO; Flag Secretary and Senior Staff Officer to Commander Transport Division TWO; and First Lieutenant on board the newly-commissioned cruiser Astria.  After the War, he had duty as Head of the Miscellaneous Equipment Branch in the Bureau of Ships, Navy Department, and in March 1948, assumed command of the destroyer O’Hare.

Returning to the Navy Department in April 1950, he was assigned to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, where he had duty in the Training Division until March 1953.  He was Executive Officer of the cruiser Bremerton, operating in the Korean combat zone, in 1953 and 1954, and for the next year commanded Destroyer Division 152.  After instruction at the National War College, Washington, DC, June 1955-June 1956, he became Head of the Material Management Branch, office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department.  In January 1958, he was ordered to command the destroyer tender Frontier, and a year later transferred to command of Destroyer Squadron 3.  He returned to the Navy Department in January 1960 to serve first as Assistant Director for Captain Detail, and later as Director of the Officer Distribution Division.


Born:  13 July 1912, Salt Lake City, Utah

Parents:  Brigadier General Carl A. Badger, National Guard and Mrs. Rose (Jenkins) Badger, both now dec.

Education:  Various schools in Salt Lake City, including the University of Utah (one year); US Naval Academy (BS, 1935); National War College, Washington, DC (1955-1956); Master’s Degree in International Relations from George Washington University, Wash., DC, 1962)


Commissioned Ensign, 6 June 1935

Lieutenant (jg), 6 June 1937

Lieutenant, 1 January 1942

Lieutenant Commander, 1 July 1943

Commander, 1 March 1944

Captain, to date from 1 July 1954


Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”

Letter of Commendation (ComSoPac) (Ribbon & “V”)

Letter of Commendation (CinPac) (Bronze Star lieu 2nd Ribbon and “V”)

Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (USS Hopkins)

Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (USS President Jackson)

China Service Medal

American Defense Service Medal with bronze “A”

American Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with nine engagement stars

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Korean Service Medal

United Nations Service Medal

Philippine Liberation Ribbon



Bronze Star Medal:  “For meritorious service as Executive Officer of the USS Bremerton during combat operations against enemy North Korean and Chinese Communists forces in the Korean theater from 1 May 1953 to 27 July 1953.  Throughout this period, Commander Badger demonstrated an aggressive confidence which demanded and attained a high standard of performance from his crew.  As Executive Officer, he supervised the organization of the ship and the training of its personnel and therefore was in a large measure responsible for the Bremerton in fulfilling its combat mission.  During this period, the Bremerton was engaged in bombardment of enemy targets on the east coast of Korea.  In each engagement with the enemy, he carried out his duties in a manner which was inspiring to his subordinates and thus contributed to the destruction by the Bremerton of many enemy shore batteries, Commander Badger demonstrated courage and exceptional ability in assisting the commanding officer and in directing effective counterbattery fire which silenced many enemy guns…”

Letter of Commendation (ComSoPac):  “For devotion to duty under adverse conditions while serving on board a cruiser which was badly damaged during the engagement of Japanese naval forces off Savo Island on August 9, 1942.  With only a few men to assist him, Lieutenant Badger extinguished fires in the vicinity of the 5” battery, placed life jackets on the wounded and lowered them over the side.  He placed his own life jacket on the executive officer, who had been severely wounded and was unable to move…”

Letter of Commendation (CinCPac):  “For excellent service…as First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer of USS Astoria from May 17, 1944 to June 10, 1945, during operations against the enemy in the Mindoro, Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa Campaigns.  His professional skill and devotion to duty contributed materially to the maintenance of his department in a high state of efficiency and to the ability of his ship to meet every scheduled operation.  He rendered valuable assistance to his commanding officer in several enemy air attacks and bombardment on enemy shore installations…”

Navy Unit Commendation (USS Hopkins):  “For outstanding heroism in action while attached to Mine Squadron TWO operating against enemy Japanese forces in support of the Solomon Islands Campaign from August 7, 1942 to June 4, 1944…”

Navy Unit Commendation (USS President Jackson):  “For exceptionally meritorious service in action against enemy Japanese aircraft, shore batteries, surface forces, submarines and mines in the South Pacific Campaign…”


Jul 1935 – Mar 1937  USS Arizona

May 1937 – May 1938  USS Stewart

May 1938 – Apr 1939  USS Mindanao

Nov 1939 – Jun 1940  USS Platte

Jul 1940 – Aug 1942  USS Vincennes

Aug 1942 – Sept 1942  Staff, Commander, Service Squad., SoPac also Exec. Officer Receiving Station, Aukland, New Zealand

Sept 1942 – Nov 1942  USS Talamanca (Navigator)

Nov 1942 – Nov 1942  Staff, Commander Mine Squad. 2 (Communications Officer) (USS Hopkins, flagship)

Nov 1942 – Aug 1943  Staff, Commander Transport Div. 2 (Flag Secretary and Sr. Staff Off) (USS President Jackson, flagship)

Nov 1943 – Sep 1945  USS Astoria (1st lt.)

Sep 1945 – Jan 1948  Bureau of Ships, Navy Dept. (Head, Miscellaneous Equipment Branch)

Mar 1948 – Apr 1950  USS O’Hare (Commanding Officer)

Apr 1950 – Mar 1953  Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Dept.

Mar 1953 – Apr 1954  USS Bremerton (Executive Officer)

May 1954 – May 1955  Commander Destroyer Div. 152

Jun 1955 – Jun 1956  National War College, Wash., DC (student)

Jun 1956 – Jan 1958  Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Dept, (Head, Material Management Branch)

Jan 1958 – Jan 1959  USS Frontier (AD-25) (CO)

Jan 1959 – Jan 1960  Commander Destroyer Squadron 3

Jan 1960 – Jan 1961  Bupers—Ass’t Dir. For Captain Detail

Jan 1961                      Bupers—Director, Officer Distribution Div.

He died April 23, 2002.



Published: Fri Aug 14 07:32:09 EDT 2020