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First Name: Arthur

Last Name: Hepburn

Birthplace: Carlisle, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Japy

Date of Birth: 15 October 1877

Date of Death: 31 May 1964

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1897-1945
Arthur Japy Hepburn

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1897

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Arthur Japy Hepburn

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Arthur Japy Hepburn was born on 15 October 1877 in Carlisle, PA. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1897 and served in the Spanish-American War. He participated in the defeat of Admiral Cervera's Spanish Squadron off Santiago, Cuba, and was subsequently commissioned at the rank of Ensign.

In following assignments, Hepburn assisted in surveys of the Pacific and performed a variety of other duties, until World War I. He then commanded the seized German liner Kaiser Wilhelm II and served as a submarine commander, until he was ordered to Europe in July 1918 to command the naval base at Queenstown, Ireland. After the armistice, he served in the USS Chester, inspecting German naval ships and aircraft as set out in the terms of the Armistice Treaty.

In 1919, he was appointed the Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, until 1922 when he became Chief of Staff of the American Naval Detachment in Turkey. Thereafter, he served a wide variety of important posts. He took command of the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) in May 1925; became Director of Naval Intelligence in July 1926; he served as Chief of Staff with the Battle Fleet and the U.S. Fleet from 1927-30; and in May 1931, he took command of Submarine Forces, U.S. Fleet. Between 1932 and 1933, he served as a naval member to the Geneva Conference (Limitations of Arms Conference) as Naval Adviser to the Geneva Delegation in Switzerland and as the American Representative at the London Naval Conference.

After commanding the 4th Naval District, and destroyers of the U.S. Fleet, he became Commander-in-Chief of the entire U.S. Fleet on 24 June 1936, with the rank of Admiral. In the years leading up to the Second World War, as it became increasingly clear that international relations were deteriorating, Hepburn was charged with the task of heading the board (eventually known as the "Hepburn Board") which reviewed the U.S. defense capabilities. The "Hepburn Board Report" served as the basis for the massive U.S. defense expansion of the late 1930s.

In 1942, Hepburn was appointed Chairman of the General Board of the Navy, serving in that capacity throughout the war. He also later served as a delegate to the Dumbarton Oaks meetings, which established guidelines for founding the United Nations.

Hepburn retired in December, 1945.

Death and Burial

Admiral Arthur Japy Hepburn died on 31 May 1964 at the Marsalle Nursing Home in Washington, DC. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 546   Created by: MHOH




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