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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Rice

Birthplace: Pittsfield, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Henry

Date of Birth: 17 September 1903

Date of Death: 1994

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Robert Henry Rice

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1927

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Robert Henry Rice
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Robert Henry Rice 17 September 1903 in Pittsfield, MA.

Rice was a 1922 graduate of the Hoosac School in Hoosick, NY. He next graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1927 and was commissioned as an Ensign. He began his career on the battleship USS Texas and served in the late 1920s aboard patrol boats on the Yangtze River in China before qualifying as a submarine officer in 1933. In 1939, he was assigned shore duty as the Commander of the Secretary of the Navy's yacht, the USS Sequoia -- which later became the presidential yacht.

At the outbreak of World War II, he took command of the submarine USS Drum. He was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the Drum on the First War Patrol of that submarine during the period 17 April 1942 to 12 June 1942. During that attack his command sunk one enemy seaplane carrier of 9,000 tons and three merchant ships totaling 15,000 tons. His second Navy Cross was for extraordinary heroism in sinking numerous ships while engaging the enemy.

After leaving the Drum, Admiral Rice commanded the submarine USS Paddle, and he completed his wartime service on the battleship USS New Jersey, participating in the invasion of Okinawa.

After the war, he headed the English, History and Government Departments at the Naval Academy. From 1954 until his retirement in 1957, he served as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence.

In Retirement

Following his retirement from the Navy, he was Administrative Director of the Syracuse University Research Corp. from 1957 to 1965 and was Assistant to the President of Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA, before his final retirement in 1968, when he moved to Winter Park, FL.

In 1993, he moved to Vermont and was active in the Red Cross. He attended crew reunions and was active in the preservation of the USS Drum, which is docked next to the USS Memphis in Mobile, AL.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Robert Henry Rice died of Alzheimer's disease on 20 May 1994 at his home in Brattleboro, VT. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

He was survived by his wife of 54 years, Eunice Russell Willson Rice; a son, Robert R. Rice of Brattleboro, VT; three daughters, Ellen Rice of Gaithersburg, MD, Rosamond Rice of Annapolis, MD, and Corinthia Rice of Winter Park , FL; and four grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 2997   Created by: MHOH




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