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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Craighill

Birthplace: Oakmount, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Starr

Date of Birth: 27 August 1909

Date of Death: 07 February 1985

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Richard Starr Craighill

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Richard Starr Craighill
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Richard Starr Craighill was born on 27 August 1909 in Oakmount, PA. After high school, Craighill attended George Washington University, remaining at the school for two years. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a junior and graduated with the Class of 1932.

After graduation, Ensign Craighill was assigned to the Battleship USS Pennsylvania in the Gunnery and Engineering Department followed by duty on the Cruiser USS New Orleans and, after that, the Destroyer USS Badger.

He returned to Annapolis in 1938 and attended the Naval Postgraduate School which he completed the following year. In 1942 he became the Executive Officer of the Destroyer USS Blue which participated in the Guadalcanal Tulagi landings and in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal before she was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese on 22 August 1942.

He next served as Assistant Operations Officer on the Staff of Commander, Seventh Fleet and in mid-1943 was appointed Commanding Officer of the Destroyer USS Drayton. He was ordered to operations in Eastern New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago and Leyte. For his actions in this command, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V."

He returned to the Naval Academy in January 1945 as Secretary of the Academic Board and Aide to the Superintendent. In 1948 he served as Executive Officer of the USS Little Rock. From September of 1953 to September of 1954, he was the Commanding Officer of the USS Salamonie. In 1954 he returned to the Navy Department to serve as Head of the Joint Plans Section, Strategic Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1960 and became Commandant of the Fifteenth Naval District, with headquarters at Fort Amador, Canal Zone with additional duty as Commander Panama Sector, Caribbean Sea Frontier. He next was the Commander Amphibious Group Two from 1962-63, then served as Director Politico-Military Policy Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In July of 1964 he reported as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. In 1965 he became Commander Caribbean Sea Frontier, with additional duties as Commandant of the Tenth Naval District and Commander U.S. Antilles Defense Command.

He retired on 1 July 1961 as a Rear Admiral.

Medals and Awards

Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit (2 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Richard Starr Craighill died on 7 February 1985. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2385   Created by: MHOH




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