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First Name: Bernard

Last Name: Strean

Birthplace: Big Cabin, OK, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Max

Date of Birth: 16 December 1910

Date of Death: 01 June 2002

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Bernard Max Strean

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1933

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Bernard Max "Smoke" Strean
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Bernard Max Strean was born on 16 December 1910 in Big Cabin, OK.

Strean graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933. After completing flight training at Pensacola, FL, in 1935, he was designated a Naval Aviator. Following early flying and instructor duty, he became a member of the Fleet Stabilization Board in October 1942. In May of 1943, he took command of Fighting Squadron 1, attached to the USS Yorktown, and was engaged in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and operations in the Marianas. In 1944 and 1945, he commanded Air Groups 98 and 75.

In 1949-50, he attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. His next assignment included service as Head of the Technical Training Programs of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and as Commander of the USS Kenneth Whiting and USS Randolph. In 1957 he spent a year at the National War College in Washington, DC, and in 1961 he became, simultaneously, Commander, Patrol Force, Seventh Fleet, Commander, U.S. Taiwan Patrol Force, and Commander, Fleet Air Wing 1. In 1963, he was the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations and next took command of Carrier Division 2. He later added duty as commander of the world's first all nuclear powered task group.

In 1964 he conducted Operation Sea Orbit, an around-the-world cruise to demonstrate the strategic mobility of the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered surface forces. In 1965-66, he was Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel and, from 1968-71, he was Chief of Naval Training at Pensacola.

Strean was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron ONE (VF-1), attached to the USS Yorktown (CV-10), in action against the enemy fleet in the vicinity of the East Philippine Sea on 20 June 1944. While leading his squadron against the Japanese fleet, Commander Strean scored a direct bomb hit upon an enemy aircraft carrier. Strean is also credited with being instrumental in establishing the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL. He retired from active duty in 1971. 

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Bernard Max Strean died on 1 June 2002 in Arlington, VA. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 3126   Created by: MHOH




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