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First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Leary

Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Fairfax

Date of Birth: 31 May 1885

Date of Death: 03 December 1957

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Herbert Fairfax Leary

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1905

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Herbert Fairfax Leary
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Herbert Fairfax Leary was born on 31 May 1885 in Washington, DC.

Leary graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1905. In 1930 Leary, then a Captain, was the Naval Inspector in Charge of Ordnance at Dahlgren Naval Base from October 1928 until May 1931.

When World War II started Leary, then a Rear Admiral, was Commander, Cruisers, Battle Force. He was ashore at the Halekulani Hotel with several other senior officers at the moment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was promoted to Vice Admiral and was given command of the Saratoga Force, then the ANZAC Naval Forces based in Australia, following the torpedoing of the Saratoga. He was hampered in the latter posting by the fact that he was junior to Admiral Brown, whom he was to command.

He was relieved by General MacArthur's naval commander Admiral Carpenter. He next was appointed Commander, Southwest Pacific Force on 20 April 1942. On 11 September 1942, he was appointed as Commander, Battleships, Pacific Fleet, followed by the appointment as Commander 5 Naval District, Norfolk, VA. In late 1943, he was appointed Commander, Easter Sea Frontier.

He was awarded the Navy Cross for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Force Gunnery Officer on the Staff of the Commander Battleship, Force One. He was awarded the Silver Star for service as Commander, Allied Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area, during Operations from March to September 1942.

Leary retired as a Vice Admiral.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Herbert Fairfax Leary died on 3 December 1957 in Newport, RI. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2743   Created by: MHOH




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