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First Name: Ephraim

Last Name: Holmes

Birthplace: Downsville, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Paul

Date of Birth: 14 May 1908

Date of Death: 23 February 1997

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1930-1970
Ephraim Paul Holmes

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1930

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Ephraim Paul Holmes

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Ephraim Paul Holmes was born on 14 May 1908 in Downsville, NY, to Edward and Dolly Hathaway Holmes.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign on 5 June 1930. His first assignment was aboard the light cruiser USS Milwaukee. In January 1931, he transferred to the newly commissioned heavy cruiser USS Augusta, remaining with the vessel for its shakedown cruise and subsequent operations with the Scouting Force off the East Coast.

Detached in May 1932, he was sent to China waters to join the heavy cruiser USS Houston, flagship of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, which was operating near Shanghai to protect American interests in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese incident of 1932. From May 1933 to July 1935, he was assigned as Gunnery Officer and First Lieutenant (in command of the deck department) of the destroyer USS Peary for duty with the Yangtze River Patrol.

In 1936, he returned to the U.S. for instruction in Applied Communications at the Naval Postgraduate School in Annapolis, MD. In July 1938, he reported aboard the battleship USS Maryland, serving as Turret Officer for the first year, then as Fire Control and Plotting Room Officer.

World War II

In January 1941, he was assigned as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander Battleships, Battle Force. He was present on the signal bridge of the battleship USS Maryland during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and later participated in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. In September 1942, he became Aide and Flag Secretary to Commander Battleship Division Four, whose vessels supported the actions off Guadalcanal and the Santa Cruz Islands.

In 1943 he was assigned to fitting out duty in the new destroyer USS Stockham at the Bethlehem Steel Company in San Francisco, CA. He assumed command of the destroyer at its commissioning on 11 February 1944. Stockham conducted shakedown training off the west coast before departing for the Pacific Theater in April. Over the next year, Holmes would be repeatedly cited for exceptional performance in combat as Stockham's commanding officer.

In June and July 1944, Stockham was attached to Destroyer Squadron Fifty-Six for the invasion of the Mariana Islands. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on 19 June 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

From September to November 1944, he led Stockham in combat operations against Japanese forces on Palau, Mindanao, Visayas, Nansei Shoto, and Formosa; and during the Battle for Leyte Gulf. He was detached from Stockham in January 1945.


In February 1945, he reported as Officer in Charge of general line and applied communications curricula at the Naval Postgraduate School, Annapolis, MD, where he remained until July 1947, when he joined the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications. He was promoted to the permanent rank of Captain on 22 July 1948, having served in that rank on a temporary basis from 10 December 1945 to 1 January 1948.

He was a student at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, from July 1950 to June 1951, then was appointed to teach at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA.

In August 1952 he assumed command of the attack transport USS Sanborn, which conducted landing exercises at Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Onslow Beach, NC, as part of Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. He was detached in July 1953 for duty as Operations, Planning and Training Officer on the staff of Commander Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. In October 1955, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of the cruiser Northampton.

Flag Officer Assignments

In early 1957, he reported as Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans and Policy). He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 July 1957. He became Commander Cruiser Division Four in 1959, then returned to the Navy Department in March 1960 as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (general planning) and Director, General Planning Group.

Advanced to Vice Admiral on 25 February 1963, he assumed command of Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet in March, then served as Commander, First Fleet from 25 January to 18 July 1964.

From 5 August 1964 to 3 June 1967, he was Director of Navy Program Planning and Scientific Officer to the Center for Naval Analyses in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. As principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations on programming matters, he was recognized for his expertise on the Department of Defense Programming System and its application within the Department of the Navy.

He was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral upon succeeding Admiral Thomas H. Moorer as Commander-in- Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT) on 17 June 1967, with concurrent appointment as Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Command (CINCLANT) and NATO Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT). As CINCLANTFLT, he was responsible for maintaining the combat readiness, training and logistical support of some 220,000 people. He relinquished command to Admiral Charles K. Duncan on 30 September 1970 and retired on 1 October.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device (2 Awards)
Yangtze Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 Engagement Stars
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 2 Stars.

In Retirement

After retiring from the Navy, he was appointed Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority in 1971.


He married Nancy Jane Sellers of Denver, CO, on 11 October 1933, and they had two children; Diane Hathaway Fletcher and Navy officer Ephraim Paul Holmes, Jr.

Death and Burial

Admiral Ephraim Paul Holmes died on 23 February 1997 at his home in Williamsburg, VA, at the age of 88. He and his wife are buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 554   Created by: MHOH




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