Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Alfred

Last Name: Pride

Birthplace: Somerville, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Melville

Date of Birth: 10 September 1887

Date of Death: 24 December 1988

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served:
Alfred Melville Pride

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


Alfred Melville Pride

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Alfred Melville Pride was born on 10 September 1887 in Somerville, MA. He studied engineering at Tufts University in Boston for several years before dropping out to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He first served as a Machinist's Mate in the Naval Reserve, but was soon given the chance to receive flight training and gain a commission as an Ensign. Pride was sent to France, where he served briefly during the latter part of the war.

In the early 1920s, having joined the Regular Navy, Pride became involved in the experiments to develop U.S. aircraft carriers. He served aboard the USS Langley, the converted coaling ship that became the Navy's first aircraft carrier, and also took part in the development of the carriers USS Saratoga and Lexington, as a member of the original crews.

Pride continued his work in Naval Aviation testing for the rest of the inter-war period. He went on to study aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1931, he became the first person to land a helicopter on an aircraft carrier. From 1934-36, he headed the Flight Test Section at Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, DC, at that time the Navy's center for aircraft testing.

During World War II, Pride served as the first Commanding Officer of the carrier USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24). He received promotion to Rear Admiral and became Commandant, 14th Naval District, at Pearl Harbor, HI. He then was moved out to Fleet jobs, including command of Carrier Division Six and Carrier Division Four.

After the war, Rear Admiral Pride held important positions relating to Naval Aviation's technical development. From 1947-51, he served as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, the Navy's material organization for aviation. From 1952-53, he commanded the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, MD.

He returned to the Pacific in 1953, when he received a promotion to Vice Admiral and Command of the U.S. Seventh Fleet (1 December 1953 - 19 December 1955) and the first commander of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command (USTDC). During this time, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine (7 February 1955 issue). Pride served as head of the Seventh Fleet until 1956, when he became Commander, Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.

Upon his retirement in 1959, 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.

Pride settled in Arlington, VA after his retirement.


• Companion of the Naval Order of the United States.

• Inducted into the National Museum of Naval Aviation's Hall of Honor.

• The Navy Department established the Admiral Alfred M. Pride Frigate ASW Readiness Award, for excellence in Anti-Submarine Warfare in the Navy's surface force.

• In 1961, Pride was retroactively designated the 9th recipient of the Gray Eagle Award, as the most senior active naval aviator from July 1959 until his retirement later that year.

• Many of his papers are stored at the Archives Division of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC.

Death and Burial

Admiral Alfred Melville Pride died on 24 December 1988 in Arnold, MD. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 623   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image