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First Name: Frank

Last Name: Watkins

Birthplace: Provo, UT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Thomas

Date of Birth: 15 December 1898

Date of Death: 11 January 1980

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Frank Thomas Watkins

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1922

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Frank Thomas Watkins
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Frank Thomas Watkins was born on 15 December 1898 in Provo, UT.

After high school, Watkins enrolled at George Washington University in 1917. The following year, Watkins entered the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in 1922. After graduation, he reported to the USS Mississippi where he served until June of 1925. After qualifying in submarines at the Submarine Base, New London, CT, in December 1925, he served until June of 1929 on the USS S-8 and the USS S-16. He was then transferred to duty at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, where he remained until April 1931. Following ten months duty on the USS S-27, he was transferred to the USS S-29 in February of 1932 and in March assumed command of that submarine.

In June of 1934, he was transferred to the Production Division of the Navy Yard at Mare Island, CA, until May 1936. For the next three years, he commanded the Submarine USS Cachalot. He next reported for duty in the Fleet Training Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington. In May 1941, he was assigned as Assistant Naval Attaché at the American Embassy in London, England, and in September of that year was designated Special Naval Observer. During his assignment in England, he served in the British submarine Torbay, the submarine tenders MaidStone and Medway, and the destroyer Whitehall. He returned to the U.S. in November of 1941 just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After two months duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operation, he was ordered to command Submarine Experimental Division One. He commanded the submarine USS Flying Fish in 1943 as well as another tour of duty on the submarine USS Cachalot. From October of 1945 to April of 1946, Watkins was the Commanding Officer of the Cruiser USS Guam. He served at Pearl Harbor, as Division Commander, and at New London, CT, as Commander Submarine Atlantic Norfolk, and Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare. Watkins was also the Commander Mine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 December 1948.

Watkins was appointed the Commanding Officer of Submarines Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1954 to 1957. He retired in 1960 as a Vice Admiral.

Medals and Awards

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Frank Thomas Watkins died on 11 January 1980 in Seattle, WA. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 3204   Created by: MHOH




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