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First Name: Frank

Last Name: Fahrion

Birthplace: Pickens, WV, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: George

Date of Birth: 17 April 1894

Date of Death: 16 January 1970

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served:
Frank George Fahrion

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1917


Frank George Fahrion
Admiral, U.S. Navy

Frank George Fahrion was born on 17 April 1894 in Pickens, WV. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1917 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy. He then served on a number of destroyers.

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, he led a destroyer division guarding convoys to Iceland and to Mid-Atlantic rendezvous with British escorts. In 1940, Commander Fahrion was commanding officer of the Destroyer USS Warrington.

In early 1942, Fahrion was the Destroyer Screen Commander for the USS Yorktown (CV-5) carrier Task Force 17 in the Central Pacific raids on the Gilbert Islands. For service as Chief of Staff to Commander North Pacific Force, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

From February 1943 - July 1944, Fahrion was commanding officer of the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, RI. There he earned a Gold Star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for his skillful direction of the research, development and manufacturing phases of the successful torpedo program.

Fahrion was commanding officer of the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) from 6 October 1944 to 26 January 1945. During that time they covered Fleet raids ranging from the Philippines to Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Bronze Star Medal for Valor was won by Fahrion for his actions.

He was advanced to flag rank in January 1945. In recognition of his skillful and intensive direct naval gunfire support missions while commanding Cruiser Division Four throughout the Okinawa Campaign, Rear Admiral Fahrion received a Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star Medal.

The Heavy Cruiser USS Fall River (CA-131) was assigned to Joint Task Force One (JTF-1) to serve as the flagship for Rear Admiral Fahrion, commander of Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests of July 1946 at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. She embarked Fahrion at Pearl Harbor on 17 March and with him sailed in the Marshalls between 21 May and 14 September. At the close of World War II, Admiral Fahrion was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a third Legion of Merit for superbly organizing and directing the target and salvage units of Joint Task Force One during "Operation Crossroads."

In the years before his retirement, Fahrion served as Inspector General, Pacific and U.S. Pacific Fleet: Commander Destroyers, U.S. Pacific Fleet (1946-48), and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC. In July 1950, he assumed command of the Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and was promoted to Vice Admiral on 28 December 1951. He then served as Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, from January 1952 until his retirement.

Upon his retirement on 1 May 1956, he was advanced in rank to four-star Admiral. *

* The Act of Congress of 4 March 1925, allowed Navy officers to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. These promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred the prestige of the higher rank but not the additional retirement pay, so their only practical benefit was to allow recipients to engrave a loftier title on their business cards and tombstones. An Act of Congress on 23 February 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades.

Medals and Awards

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal (2 Awards)


The USS Fahrion (FFG-22), fourteenth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates, was commissioned on 16 January 1982 and named in honor of Admiral Fahrion.

In Retirement

After retiring from the Navy, Admiral and Mrs. Fahrion made their home in La Jolla, CA.

Death and Burial

Admiral Frank George Fahrion died on 16 January 1970 in La Jolla, CA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Gladys Yates Fahrion in 1944, and was survived by his second wife, Kathleen Dwyer Fahrion. Kathleen died in 1987 and both wives are buried with him.

Honoree ID: 507   Created by: MHOH




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