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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Carney

Birthplace: Vallejo, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Bostwick

Date of Birth: 26 March 1895

Date of Death: 25 June 1990

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1916-1955
Robert Bostwick Carney

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1916

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Robert Bostwick Carney

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Robert Bostwick Carney was born on 26 March 1895 in Vallejo, CA. Carney graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916. He served in World War I, seeing combat against German U-boats.

Between the Wars

Carney served as Flag Secretary to Admiral Louis R. de Steiguer during the mid-1920s during de Steiguer's time in command of various battleship forces. Their relationship was not a happy one, mainly due to de Steiguer's imperious manner described by Carney as "constant pressure, irascibility, criticism, and unpleasantness." Famously, Carney eventually marched into de Steiguer's cabin, snapped, "Admiral, I just want to tell you I think you are a goddamn rotten son of a bitch," and stormed out. After failing to retrieve Carney via Marine orderly, de Steiguer visited Carney's cabin in person, said, "Sonny, you've been working too hard. You and I are going ashore." Carney ultimately concluded that his three years with de Steiguer had been a valuable experience, but not one he would have chosen to repeat.

World War II

In February 1941, then a Commander, Carney was recalled from duty in the Pacific Fleet to assist in organizing, equipping, and training of a special Surface-Air Force, having as its mission the protection of shipping against submarine and air attack. This force became fully involved in convoy escort prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From 13 September 1941 until April 1942, this Force, under its Commander, Vice Admiral Arthur L. Bristol, Jr., established the remarkable record of escorting over 2,600 ships on the ocean lanes with a loss of only six ships.

From 15 October 1942 until July 1943, he commanded the cruiser USS Denver in the Pacific Theater, and was twice decorated for engagements in the Solomon Islands campaign. He earned the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for meritorious service as Commanding Officer of Denver, attached to a task Group of Admiral William Halsey's 3rd Fleet, during operations against the enemy Japanese-held Islands of Kolombangara, Shortland, and Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands area, the night of 26 July 1943. Proceeding through unfamiliar waters, he took advantage of adverse weather to lay a large quantity of explosive mines along sea lanes extensively used by the enemy and, in addition, delivered a smashing naval bombardment against Japanese shore installations on these islands.

On 29 July 1943, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and became Chief of Staff to Admiral Halsey, Commander, South Pacific Force, which included all ground, sea, and air forces in the South Pacific area. Carney later wrote that "Admiral Halsey unfailingly gave credit to his subordinates for successes achieved, and took all blame for failures on his own shoulders."

While in this assignment, Rear Admiral Carney was awarded his second Distinguished Service Medal for contributions which he made in the field of over-all strategy and the organizing of the logistic support of the Allied Forces in the South Pacific.

When Admiral Halsey assumed command of the 3rd Fleet in the Central Pacific in June 1944, Rear Admiral Carney accompanied him as Chief of Staff. He took part in the Palau, Leyte, Lingayen, and Okinawa campaigns and in the attack on Formosa, in the China Sea; against the Japanese homeland and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Rear Admiral Carney arranged with Japanese emissaries for the entry of the 3rd Fleet into Tokyo Bay, accepted the surrender of Yokosuka Naval Base and surrounding area from Vice Admiral Totsuka, of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and attended the surrender ceremony held on board Admiral Halsey's Flagship the Battleship USS Missouri (BB-63).

Post-War Service

After the war, he was promoted to Vice Admiral in 1946, and until February 1950, served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. Next he assumed command of the Second Fleet operating on the East Coast of the U.S.

On 2 October 1950, Carney was promoted to the rank of Admiral and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM) and Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH), where he was responsible for the fleets of five countries and the armed forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey.

On 13 May 1953, President Eisenhower announced his selection of Admiral Carney as the next Chief of Naval Operations. On completion of his appointment as Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Carney retired from active service in 1955.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (4 Awards)

Legion of Merit with Combat "Valor" Device
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device

World War I Victory Medal, Destroyer Clasp (USS Fanning)

American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp (USS California)

American Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 9 Battle Stars

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars

Admiral Carney also held medals and awards from twelve foreign countries, many including highest military recognition.


USS Carney (DDG-64) was named in his honor.

Carney Park was named after Admiral Carney.

In Retirement

Over the next several years, Admiral Carney's various assignments, coupled with his personal interest in industrial participation in the defense effort, resulted in close contact with industry including the position of Chairman of the Board, Bath Iron Works Corporation.

Death and Burial

Admiral Robert Bostwick Carney died of cardiac arrest on 25 June 1990 in his home. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2.

Honoree ID: 475   Created by: MHOH




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