Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Riley

Birthplace: Baltimore, MD, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Douglas

Date of Birth: 24 December 1904

Date of Death: 17 January 1973

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served: 1927 - 1964
Herbert Douglas Riley

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

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


Herbert Douglas Riley
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Herbert Douglas Riley was born on 24 December 1904 in Baltimore, MD. He was a ninth generation Marylander.

Riley graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927. After graduation he was assigned to the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40). At an unknown date, Riley was designated a Naval Aviator.

During the 1930s, Riley served as a pilot in Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) embarked aboard the light cruiser USS Cincinnati (CL-6), Scouting Squadron Five (VS-5) aboard the light cruiser USS Richmond (CL-9), Patrol Squadron One (VP-1), Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-10), Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), and the aviation unit of the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33). He then served a tour at Naval Air Station Anacostia in Washington, DC, as a pilot for VIPs and while stationed there married the daughter of the Chief of the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, Rear Admiral John H. Towers.

In 1940-41, Riley served on the staff of Commander Carrier Division One and on the staff of Commander Patrol Wings. He had temporary duty in 1942 on Guadalcanal and in 1943-44 served in the Bureau of Aeronautics. In 1944-45, he commanded the escort carrier USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91); and at war's end in 1945, was Operations Officer on the staff of the prospective Commander First Carrier Task Force, Vice Admiral Frederick Sherman.

In 1946, Riley was on the staff of Joint Task Force One during Operation Crossroads which involved the testing of nuclear weapons. In the late 1940s, he was assigned to the Strategic Plans Section of Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as an Assistant to two Secretaries of Defense, James Forrestal and Louis Johnson, and as a student at the National War College.

In the early 1950s, he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans on the staff of Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Command, and Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet-Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic. Riley was then Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea from 1952-53 and was Chief of Staff to Commander Carrier Division Two. He next had a tour of duty in the International Affairs Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He served as Commander, Carrier Division One and from February of 1958 to May of 1961 was Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.

In the early 1960s, Riley served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations and Readiness and as Director of the Joint Staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 25 February 1962 to 23 February 1964.

He retired as a Vice Admiral in 1964.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Herbert Douglas Riley died on 17 January 1973. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 3000   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image