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Adapted from "Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 6 December 1973] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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James Francis Calvert

8 September 1920 - 3 June 2009

PDF Version [1.6MB]


Image of VADM James F. Calvert is from page 253 of the 1943 Lucky Bag.

James Francis Calvert was born in Cleveland,  Ohio, on September 8, 1920,  son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Calvert, both now deceased. He attended Oberlin College, Oberlin,  Ohio, for two  years  prior  to his appointment  to the  US Naval Academy,  Annapolis, Maryland, in 1939.  He  was graduated with the  Class of  1943 on  June 19, 1942,  and was commissioned  Ensign in the US Navy from that date.  He subsequently advanced  to the rank of Vice Admiral to date from July 31, 1970.

After graduation  f rom  the  Naval  Academy in  June 1942,  he  reported  to the  Submarine  School,  New  London, Connecticut, for submarine instruction, and was graduated and detached in September of that year. In  October he joined USS Jack  (SS 259), in which during the remaining World War  II period he served in every capacity except that of  Commanding Officer, participating in eight War Patrols are Torepedo Data Computer Operator. Next he joined USS Haddo, and as that submarine 's Executive Officer from July to November 1945, he took part in ne War Patrol of that vessel and was on board at Tokyo, Japan, for the Japanese Surrender ceremonies, September 2, 1945 (EST).

For heroic service during World War  II, Conmmnder Calvert was awarded the Silver Star Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star; a letter of Commendation, with Ribbon and Combat "V", and is entitled to the Ribbon for and a facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the USS Jack for her first, Third and Fifth War Patrols.  Citations follow, in part:

Silver Star Medal:  "...Lieutenant Calvert, by his skill and  proficiency, rendered invaluable assistance to his superior officer throughout numerous strikes which resulted in the destruction of a large amount of Japanese shipping..."

Gold Star in lieu of the Second Silver Star Medal:  "...( He) rendered invaluable service (from June 4 to July 14, 1944) in launching attacks against the enemy, thereby materially contributing to the sinking of thousands of tons of enemy shipping and the successful evasion of strong enemy countermeasures..."

Bronze Star Medal:  "For meterorious achievement while serving as TDC Operator, attached to a United States Submarine during a War Patrol in enemy Japanese-controlled waters...Lieutenant (jg) Calvert, despite strong enemy opposition, rendered invaluable assistance to his Commanding Officer in the sinking of a considerable amount of enemy tonnage..."

Gold Star in lieu of Second Bronze Star Medal:  "For heroic service as TDC Operator and as Gunnery Officer of the USS Jack during her Fourth War Patrol in enemy-controlled waters from April 5 to May 10, 1944..."

Letter of Commendation (from CINCPAC): "...As Assistant Approach Officer and TDC Operator, his thorough knowledge of attack problems, keen understanding of fire control equipment and proficiency in operating the Computer, were of valuable assistance to his Commanding Officer while conducting attacks which resulted in sinking or damaging more than 6,000 tons enemy shipping..."

Returning to New London in December 1945, he served as TDC Instructor at tbe Submarine School until March 1948, and during that time wrote a basic TDC book, OP 1442A.  For two years he was Executive Officer of USS Charr (SS-328), which won the Battle Ef'ficiency Pennant for 1949 and 1950, and the Marjorie Sterett Prize in 1950. He next had a tour of duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, as Assistant Submarine Detail Officer, then placed in commission, on August 19, 1952, USS Harder ( SS-568), and served as her Executive Officer until January 1953.

From January 1953 until April 1955 he commanded USS Trigger (SS- 564), and in May 1955 reported for duty under instruction at the Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, DC. On November 20, 1956, he was ordered detached f'rom the Division of Reactor Developments, AEC, for duty as Commanding Officer of USS Skate, then building at Groton, Connecticut, by General Dynamics Corporation, Electric Boat Company Division. He commissioned that nuclear-powered submarine on December 23, 1957, and as her Commanding Offiver established new records for westbound trans-Atlantic crossigs by a submarine.  In May of 1958 the Skate set another submarine record by remaining totally submerged and isloated from the earth's atmosphere for 31 days 51/2 hours.  In August 1958 the Skate followed the Nautilus by a few days in reaching the North Pole under the Artic ice.  In 1959 the Skate of submarines to operate in and under the Artic ice.  In 1959 the Skate made a second Arctic cruise and demonstrated for the first timne the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Artic ice in the dead of winter.  On February 17, 1959 she became the first ship in history to surfce at the North Pole.

Vice Admiral Calvert is entitled to wear the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon with Bronze Star in lieu of a second award, being Commanding Officer of the Skate when she was twice cited for outstanding operations in the Arctic. He was personally awarded the Legion of Merit and Gold Stars in lieu of a Second and Third Legion of Merit.

Legion of Merit: "...Exercising superb seamanship and unusual planning ability, Commander Calvert took his ship approximately 2400 miles under the ice into the unknown reaches of the Arctic Ocean, obtaining Invaluable scientific and operational information..."

Gold Star in lieu of the Second Legion of Merit : "For...outstanding services as Commanding Officer of the USS Skate,...during her second Arctic cruise 4 March to 6 April 1959 and during the meticulous preparations therefor..."

Gold Star in lieu of the Third  Legion of  Merit:  ". . .Exerising superior planning an organizational ability, Commander Calvert succeeded in carrying out a hazardous and complex mission of great importance to the United States..."

In September 1959 he was detached from command of the Skate to duty as Commander Submarine Division ONE HUNDRED TWO.  After two years in that command he reported to the National War College, Washington, DC, for instruction. In  July  1962 he  reported for duty in the Officer of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC, where he served as Head of the Europe and NATO Branch of the Politico-Military Policy Division until detached in July 1964 for duty at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia.  He was selected for Rear Admiral in the spring of 1965, assumed the rank and title on July 2 of that year, and in August 1965 became Director of the Politico-Military Policy Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.  He was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Fourth Legion of Merit and cited in part as follows:

"...As an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations on  international politico-military matters, Rear Admiral Calvert, through his marked professional competence and inspiring leadership, was responsible in large measure for the outstanding performance of trhe Politico-Military Policy Division..."

In June 1967 he assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla EIGHT and in July 1968 became Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, with additional duty during July and August 1968 as Commandant of the Naval District, Washington, DC.  "For exceptionally meritorious service...from July 1968 to June 1972..." he wa awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.  The citation further states in part:  "...By his inspiring and dedicated efforts toward providing the best education and training possible for the Brigade of Midshipmen, Vice Admiral Calvert contributed immeasurable in providing the Navy and Marine Corps with superior officers..."

In July 1972 he assumed command  of  the FIRST Fleet and "for exceptionally meritorious service..." in  that capacity was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of  the Second Distinguished Service Medal.  The citation further states in part:  "...(his) in spiring leadership and extensive knowledge have been instrumental in the orderly planning for amalgamation of FIRST Fleet and Antisubmarine Warfare Force Pacific to form the new THIRD Fleet command,,,"  On February 1, 1973 he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star, Silver Star Medal with Gold Star, the Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star and Combat "V," the Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V," the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon with Bronze Star, Vice Admiral Calvert has the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Submarine Combat Insignia (eight successful war patrols); the American Defense Campaign Medal with one silver star and two bronze stars (seven operations); the World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; China Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.  He has also been awarded the Certificate of Officer of the Order of Maritime Merit from the Government of France and the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge.

Admiral Calvert has the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Submarine Combat Insignia (eight successful war patrols); the American Defense Service Medal with star; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star and two bronze stars (seven operations); the World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Occupational Service Medal, Asia Clasp; China Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.  He has also been awarded the Certificate of Officer of the Order of Maritime Merit from the Government of France and the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge.

Vice  Admiral  Calvert  is author of  "Surface at the Pole" (published by McGraw-Hill, New York,  1960);  "A Promise to Our Country " (published by McGraw-Hill, 1961); and "The Naval Profession" (published by McGraw­Hill, 1965).  In 1960 he was awarded an Honorary degree from Oberlin (Ohio) College.

He died on June 3, 2009.

END

Published:Thu Jun 14 12:25:46 EDT 2018