Allan Simpson Chrisman was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on July 18, 1906, son of John Riley and Sara Jane (Watlington) Chrisman. He attended public schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, was graduated from the University of North Carolina, with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1926, and received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 1930. Commissioned Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US Navy on June 3, 1930, he subsequently advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral to date from August 1, 1958.
After a year’s internship at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he reported in July 1931 to the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, and for five months was a student at the Submarine School. He served as Medical Officer aboard the USS S-4 from December 1931 to April 1933, and during that period made a tour of all Submarine Bases in connection with submarine escape training. He next served for nine months as Medical Officer of the USS Beaver, tender for Submarine Squadron Four, based on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii.
From January to October 1934 he was attached to the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, and during the four years following had duty as Medical Officer at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, primarily concerned with the Submarine Escape Training Tank and Dispensary. Sea duty from September 1938 to July 1940 as Medical Officer aboard the USS Ranger, aircraft carrier of the Atlantic Fleet on Neutrality Patrol, preceded graduate instruction at the Naval Hospital, Washington, DC, where he had a Residency in Radiology.
He was detached from the Naval Hospital, Washington, DC, in August 1941, and during the early period of the United States participation in World War II, he served successively in the X-Ray Departments of the Naval Hospitals, Parris Island, South Carolina, and Bethesda, Maryland. In September 1942 he joined the USS Pinkney, and as her Medical Officer, saw action in the South Pacific area. In August 1943 he reported as Base Medical Officer at the Advanced Naval Base, Tulagi, Solomon Islands, and there had charge of the Tulagi-Florida Medical Facilities.
In January 1944 he returned to New London to be Assistant Officer in Charge of the Medical Research Laboratory. As such he assisted in submarine personnel selection for Commander Submarine, Atlantic. He was awarded a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon, from the Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet “For meritorious service as Assistant Medical Officer in Charge of the Medical Research Department, US Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, during the period from March 1944 to February 1945…”
From January 1945 to July 1950 he served consecutively at the Naval Hospitals, Bainbridge, Maryland (Executive Officer); Newport, Rhode Island (X-Ray); Aiea, Territory of Hawaii (X-Ray); and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (Executive Officer). For a year he was a student (senior course) at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, reporting upon graduation in June 1951 to Commander Submarines, Atlantic, for duty as Force Medical Officer. In September 1952 he was transferred to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, where he served as Personnel Officer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. On July 31, 1956, he assumed command of the Naval Hospital, Corona, California, and on December 1, 1958, was assigned additional duty as Eleventh Naval District Medical Officer, with headquarters at San Diego. In April 1961 he became Deputy and Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, where he remained until relived of active duty pending his retirement, effective July 1, 1964.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Rear Admiral Chrisman has the American Defense Service Medal, with Fleet Clasp; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one engagement star; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal. He is a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Chi, and Phi Beta Kappa fraternities; the Kiwanis Club; and Masonic Order.