Walter Chimiak was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 2, 1920, son of Anthony and Ann (Barowaska) Chimiak (both now deceased). He graduated from Loyola College of Baltimore, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Science, prior to entering naval service on October 22, 1942. Following instruction at Midshipman School, he was commissioned Ensign in the Naval Reserve on February 17, 1943, and subsequently advanced in rank of that of Captain, to date from September 1, 1963, having transferred from the US Naval Reserve to the US Navy on January 29, 1947.
Following his commissioning in 1943, he had instruction from February to May that year at the Submarine Chaser Training Center, Miami, Florida, after which he remained there as Repair Officer and Construction Officer. In August 1943 he became Hull Repair Officer on Board USS Hornet (CV-12), which participated in the Asiatic-Pacific Raids; Western New Guinea Marianas, Western Caroline, Leyte, Luzon, Iwo, Jima, and Okinawa Gunto Operations. He is entitled to the Ribbon for and facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the USS Hornet.
Assigned in June 1945 to USS Franklin D. Roosevelt he was Hill Repair Officer and Damage Control Officer until April 1946 after which he had terminal leave and inactive duty. During that time he worked on his doctorate degree at John Hopkins University at Baltimore.
Returning to active duty in February 1947, he became First Lieutenant and Operations Officer on board USS Mackenzie (DD-614). From February 1950 to January 1951 he was a student at the General Line School, Monterey, California, then remained there until August 1951 serving as an Inspector until May 1951 then as Assistant First Lieutenant. He next reported for instruction at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Lajolla, California, from which he received his Master’s Degree, and in September 1952 assumed command of USS Pursuit (AGS-17). Assigned in October 1954 to the Hydrographic Office, Suitland, Maryland, he had duty in the Amphibious Warfare Underwater Surveillance and Oceanographic Studies Section until January 1958, when he became Commanding Officer of USS Bordelon (DDR-881).
From February 1960 to August 1964 he served in the Test and Operations Branch, Special Projects Office, Bureau of Naval Weapons, Navy Department, Washington, DC and in that assignment had duty in connection with Polaris A1, A2, and A3. He next commanded USS Compass Island (AEG-153) and in September 1965 assumed command of the Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. In August 1968 he became Director of the Undersea Warfare Branch, Naval Material Command, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with star, captain Chimiak has the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with seven stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars. He also has the Philippine Presidential Citation Badge.