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First Name: Delbert

Last Name: Black

Birthplace: Orr, OK, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: Orr, OK
Middle Name: D.

Date of Birth: 11 July 1922

Date of Death: 05 March 2000

Rank or Rate: Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

Years Served: 1941-1971
Delbert D. Black

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Delbert D. Black
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

Delbert D. Black was born on 11 July 1922 in Orr, OK. He graduated from high school in 1940 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 14 March 1941.

Upon completion of recruit training in San Diego, he was assigned to the USS Maryland (BB-46) and was aboard during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. He later served at Receiving Station, Pearl Harbor; USS Doyle C. Barnes (DE-353); Naval Air Base, Samar, Philippines; USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39); USS Boxer (CVA-21); USS Antietam (CVA-36); and U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Washington, DC.

He also served at Yokosuka, Japan ship repair facilities; USS Brush (DD-745); USS Carpenter (DDE-825); USS Norfolk (DL-1); Recruiting Duty, Columbia, TN; USS Springfield (CL-66); and Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center (FAAWTC), Dam Neck, VA. During his career, he advanced from striking for the rate of Gunner's Mate to the rank of Master Chief.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

On 13 January 1967, the Secretary of the Navy announced that Master Chief Gunner's Mate (GMCM) Black was appointed as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor, the position that would evolve into Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. As such, he was the highest ranking enlisted man in the U.S. Navy, serving as the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. He counseled the highest Navy brass on problems associated with enlisted guidance, leadership, and policy.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Black retired in 1971. He was the first Navy enlisted man awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Good Conduct Medal with 7 Service stars)
China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal with 1 Campaign Star
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 8 Campaign Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service Star
Korean Service Medal
Antarctica Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Service Stars
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm
Philippine Liberation Medal with 2 Service Stars
United Nations Korean Medal

Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Bar
Korean War Service Medal

In Retirement

After retiring, Master Chief Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He was an active member of the USO Council of Central Florida; the Fleet Reserve Association; and Co-Chairman on the Secretary of Navy Committee on Retired Personnel.

Death and Burial

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Delbert D. Black died at his home in Winter Park, FL at the age of 77. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2257   Created by: MHOH




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